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Sir John Betjeman Collection
University of Victoria, McPherson Library

Betjeman, Sir John; English poetry; English literature

The University of Victoria began collecting Sir John Betjeman's papers in 1972. The first purchase was initiated at the time of the demolition of Sir John's house in Smithfield. The second purchase was made in 1986 after the deaths of Sir John and Lady Betjeman and with the assistance of a grant. Smaller collections of books, pamphlets, and manuscripts have been added to the collection over the years.

The collection is a comprehensive collection of material by Sir John Betjeman, Britain's seventeenth Poet Laureate. The collection contains first editions, single journal issues, pamphlets, manuscripts, and letters. The chronological and geographic emphasis of the collection is twentieth century England. Although the emphasis of the collection is on poetry and literature, there is a broad cultural and social history character in the total collection. The collection is being developed actively and attempts are made to fill all gaps. The collection is also being broadened to include material in all relevant languages.

English and selected non-English material (German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese).

350 monographs; 200 serials; 24 linear metres of manuscripts; 6 phonograph recordings.

Bibliographic Access
The collection is catalogued in a separate card catalogue. LC subject headings and classification are used. The holdings are recorded in UTLAS.

Physical Access
The collection is housed in a special collections area which is open to the public. After-hours consultation may be arranged. For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: Available, if books and pamphlets are not scarce or frail.

Reprography: Yes.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
Union list of manuscripts in Canadian repositories : supplement, 1976 = Catalogue collectif des manuscrits conservés dans les dépôts d'archives canadiens: supplément, 1976. -- Robert S. Gordon, director, E. Grace Maurice, editor. -- Ottawa : PublicArchives of Canada : [sold by] Printing and Pub. Supply and Services Canada, 1976.