My latest brief hiatus in posts has been due to my undertaking a research fellowship at the Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas, Austin.

I wanted to take a moment to wax lyrical about what a wonderful research experience it was. The collections are, without doubt, some of the finest in the world and the staff are amazing – friendly and super knowledgeable about the collections. (And that’s not to mention the glorious 105 degree Texan sunshine which was an added bonus to the trip!)

My own research was focussed on the early novels of Wilkie Collins, which the centre holds in their original hand-written form, along with many scribblings and doodles in the margins. (Collins, by the way, has the tiniest handwriting I have EVER SEEN and I had to keep returning to the desk to borrow increasingly enormous magnifying glasses!)

But as well as Collins, other collections at the Ransom which may be of interest to Victorianists include the works, papers and letters of, among others:

  • Charles Dickens
  • Arthur Conan Doyle (especially his battier spiritualist papers!)
  • Lewis Carroll
  • J.M. Barrie
  • Thomas de Quincey
  • Byron
  • Coleridge (and, in fact, most of his extended family!)
  • Samuel Butler
  • Sir Walter Scott
  • Olive Schreiner
  • George Gissing
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Oscar Wilde
  • H.G. Wells
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • James Joyce
  • Dorothy L Sayers


The application process for fellowships for the 2017-2018 fellowships is now open and will close November 15th 2016. If you’re a Victorianist (although I’m convinced there’s something at the Ransom Centre for any discipline and period) then I recommend you give it a go!