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Collection of Wilkie Collins material

Call Number: MS D11


Material collected by Clyde Hyder by and about the English author Wilkie Collins including an album and loose material: letters (originals, transcripts, photostats), portrait-photographs, photostat of Collins' will, clippings, and other related materials.


  • Creation: 1849-1889; 1935

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Wilkie Collins

William Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), the son of landscape painter William Collins (1788-1847), published his first work--a memoir to his father--in 1848. In the early 1850s he began associating with fellow English author Charles Dickens, a mutually beneficial friendship. Notable fiction works by Collins include The Woman in White (1860) and The Moonstone (1868), which has been described as the first English detective novel.


1 volume (1 volume + 5 folders) : Album originally contained 46 blank leaves; 19 items and a title-page have been tipped in or pasted in. No foliation. For the author's holograph, the original letters (all also signed or initialed); the 4 scraps; the 5 photostated letters. 2 photographs (MS D11:8; MS D11:1), and 1 vignette of Hotel Sherman, Chicago, on letterhead. (MS P557A:3).The album binding is in blue cloth. Binding Title: W. Wilkie Collins. 1824-1889. Autograph letters.The title on the added page reads: WILLIAM WILKIE COLLINS Novelist 1824-1889. AUTOGRAPH LETTERS. ; Volume measures 22.6 x 22 cm.

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection contains 18 letters by Wilkie Collins (9 originals, 5 photostated originals, 4 manuscript transcripts). Recipients for these letters include W.C. Macready (actor), Herbert Watkins (photographer), H.F. Chorley (critic), Miss Doran, Th. Michaelis, Charles Kent (friend), Henry Higgins (copyist),Chatto (publisher), R.H. Dana Sr (U.S. essayist), John Palgrave Simpson (playwright), Mrs Moulton (US literary hostess), Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr (U.S. man of letters), Mrs Schlesinger, A. Arthur Reade (tobacco), Mark Lemon (editor), and "Dear Sir."

There are also 4 signatures by Collins on scraps of letters. Recipient of two: John Latey (editor).

Additionally in the collection there is 1 photostat of Collins' Will; 1 carte-de-visite photograph of Collins; 1 photograph of posthumous bust of Collins; 4 clippings concerning Collins; and 1 letter to Hyder from Buckston Brown, Collins' neighbor.

Physical Location

MS D11

Physical Location

MS P557

Other Finding Aids

See the attached for an detailed list of contents:

Custodial History

In 1954 Clyde Hyder gave the University of Kansas Libraries an album, which he had filled with the original Collins letters and signatures, the photographs, and the clippings. The album is located at MS D11.

In 1983 Professor Hyder supplemented his gift with some loose material: photostats, manuscript transcripts, and a letter by Buckston Brown. This material is located at MS P557.

Hyder does not cite this material in his two articles "Collins and the Woman in White" (PMLA 54 1939) and "Collins in America" (Studies in English in honor of R.D. O'Leary and S.L. Whitcomb. Univ of Kansas Humanistic Studies vol.6 no.4 1940), although he mentions the Will in the former and the Holmes letter in the latter.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Clyde K. Hyder, 1954, 1983.

Guide to the Wilkie Collins Collection
Collection of Wilkie Collins material
Finding aid prepared by alh, September 8, 1983. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2005.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Collection of Wilkie Collins material, Department of Special Collections, MS D11, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States