Library Holdings and Special Collections

Christmas Carol
Image from Nonesuch Dickens

The University of Leicester Library has extensive Dickens holdings. This collection was initiated and developed by Professor Philip Collins, one of the founders of the Victorian Studies Centre, whose personal collection of Dickens material is now available in the library.

In the library’s special collections are first editions of several of Dickens’s novels, including David Copperfield, The Old Curiosity Shop, Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In addition, the library holds first editions of some of Dickens’s less well-known writings and journalism, namely, ‘Sketches of Young Gentlemen’, ‘Sketches of Young Couples’, The Battle of Life and Pictures from Italy

Pickwick Cover
Image from Nonesuch Dickens

Dickens’s longer novels were published initially in serialised parts. The library holds the original part-copies of Martin Chuzzlewit, as well as facsimiles of the serialised issues of The Pickwick Papers. The library also has a complete set of the Nonesuch Edition of Dickens’s works, a collector’s edition published in 1937 which reprinted all of the original illustrations from the novels.

Users of the library can consult copies of the journals ‘conducted’ and edited by Dickens; Household Words and All the Year Round, and have access to Dickens’s complete public speeches and letters.

Click here for more information on the library’s special collections.


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