University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections


Papers of Douglas Dunn, phase 1 (ms38640)

Images of the papers of Douglas Dunn collection

Phase 1 of a comprehensive cataloguing project to list the papers of Douglas Dunn is now complete and the catalogue records are now available to the academic community and wider public through the online catalogue.

This collection is one of the most extensive archives of a modern writer to become available in recent years. In addition to the 103 boxes received by Special Collections in November 2008, a considerable amount of additional material has now been transferred to the Library, largely dating from the 1990s and much of it relating to University business.

Douglas Dunn was born in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire and has been a Professor within the School of English in St Andrews since 1991. His comprehensive archive, which is particularly rich in correspondence, represents his career as writer (of poetry, short stories, essays, novels and plays for TV, radio and stage) and critic, journalist, translator, anthologist and editor. It contains most of the manuscripts he has produced from his schooldays to the present including notebooks with revisions.

As a full-time writer, he appears to have had more time and inclination to conduct long correspondences than is found with many of his contemporaries. Visits at home and abroad (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, France, America, Australia) have created friendships with numerous domestic and foreign writers and academics (i.e. Robert Crawford, Hilda Spear, Chris Wiseman and Christopher Wallace).

The series of letters with Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Stewart Conn, Dennis Enright, Daniel Halpern, Michael Longley, Charles Montieth, Sean O'Brien, Tom Paulin, Sommer Piotr, Peter Redgrove, Anthony Thwaite and Hugo Williams are especially notable. It is hoped that more will be identified as cataloguing progresses.

The acquisition of Professor Dunn's papers reinforces both the University's place as a centre of excellence for literary studies and the Library's links with the School of English. A second phase of more detailed listing is under development.

Manuscript or muniment?

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Collection development policy

Discover how the Special Collections Division makes decisions on the development of its manuscript and muniment collections.

Current projects

Read about the exciting projects the Archive team is currently working on, and those that have been completed recently.