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Special Collections at Northern Illinois University

Author Collections

A special collection is created to keep together material in one subject area which would be scattered in the Library of Congress classification system or might otherwise not meet the usual rare book criteria. Some of these collections may not show their "specialness" for years to come, but we are in the process of conserving them for future generations of researchers.

While most of these materials are made available through our Online Catalog and finding aids, there are portions of our collections which are not fully processed. If you haven't quite found what you are looking for, please ask!

Individual Author Collections

In all of our author-based collections, we try to collect as comprehensively as possible from their work, materials both by and about our selected authors. Some of the author collections include manuscript materials as well; these are denoted with a *.

Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)*: all-time, best-selling American boy’s series writer. RBSC is also the repository for the Horatio Alger Society. Our Alger collection is the most comprehensive collection of Alger materials in the world.

Edward Ardizzone (1900-1979): British author and illustrator.

William Blake (1757-1827): British poet and illustrator.

Robert Burns (1759-1796): Scottish poet.

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824): English Romantic Poet.

Alan Denson (b. 1930)*: British author, known for his book Letters from AE. This collection contains some 36 books and several envelopes of manuscripts and letters relating to 20th-Century Anglo-Irish writers, including George Russel and A.E. Denson's correspondence with writers and notes are indexed. Some materials have restricted use. Books from this collection can be found in the Online Catalog; a finding aid for the manuscripts is not yet available online, but a card file is available on-site.

John Dos Passos (1896-1970): American novelist.

Graham Greene (1904-1991): British novelist.

James Hanley (1901-1985)*: British novelist. A collection of manuscripts (some unpublished) and most editions of the books by James Hanley (1901-1985). The collection is indexed with a finding list in the Rare Books & Special Collections Department. There is also an inventory available as a .pdf file.

H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)*: American novelist.

Willard Motley (1909-1965)*: African-American novelist from Chicago. A finding aid for his papers, held here at NIU, is available.

Vincent Starrett (1886-1974): Chicago Renaissance journalist, mystery, and suspense writer.

Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667): Anglican bishop and theologian.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892): American poet.

Angus Wilson (1913-1991): British novelist and essayist.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): British poet.