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H.G. Wells papers



Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description


Picshuas [Cartoons]

Correspondence to Wells

Wells Letters

Periodical Publications

Wells Short Works


Wells Letters to the Press




Oversize materials

Contact us about this collection

H.G. Wells papers, 1845-1946 | Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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Collection Overview

Title: H.G. Wells papers, 1845-1946Add to your cart.

ID: 01/01/MSS00071

Primary Creator: Wells, H. G. (Herbert George) (1866-1946)

Other Creators: Wells, Catherine (1872-1927)

Extent: 207.0 Cubic Feet

Languages: English


This collection consists of the papers of English novelist and essayist Herbert George Wells. The collection includes correspondence, diaries, drawings, manuscripts and proofs, speeches, and other materials.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Papers of Herbert G. Wells, English novelist and essayist. Includes correspondence about business and legal affairs; letters to the press; diaries, journals, drawings, publication records, manuscripts and proofs of published works; speeches; unpublished material; photographs. About forty full-length books, as well as many shorter pieces, are represented by typescripts or manuscripts, often in many drafts, which show the evolution of each work. Among these is an unpublished novel, Kipps and Waddy, an early version of Wells' copies of his printed works. These include first editions, revisions, translations. The letters contain general family correspondence, communications, from publishers, material regarding the Fabian Society, and letters from politicians and public figures, most notably George Bernard Shaw and Joseph Conrad. Among the remaining items is the diary of Wells' mother, begun before his birth, Wells' letters and stories written as a youngster, collections of clippings from newspapers and magazines, account books of his contracts and earning, and other business records.

A catalog of correspondence, arranged alphabetically by correspondent, from and to Wells is published in Volume 11 of the Catalog of the Rare Book Room, University Library, University of Illinois (G. K. Hall & Co., Boston, 1972, 547 pp.) and in a supplement 1978 edition. The main collection was acquired in two parts, labelled WELLS-1 and WELLS-2. WELLS-1 consists of over 2,500 letters from Wells and 65,000 to Wells. WELLS-2, a major collection added in 1990, supplements the extensive book collection from Wells' personal library, personal and business correspondence, and criticism. Wells-3 is the Kennard Collection which includes correspondence between H.G. Wells and Annajane Kennard and Amber Reeves. Wells-9 is a collection of supplementary items purchased separately, on an ongoing basis.

Biographical Note

English novelist and essayist.

Administrative Information

Repository: Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers.

Use Restrictions:

The RBML reproductions policies can be found here.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the order would damage materials or involve violation of copyright law.

Acquisition Method: Purchased in 1954

Related Materials: The Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds numerous additional items related to H.G. Wells, including manuscripts, books, and artifacts. Please search the library's finding aids or contact the library for more information.

Other Note:

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library has several databases related to materials that may be found in the H. G. Wells papers. Please contact the library's staff for more information about these resources.

These databases cover the following subjects:

-The Sarah Wells diaries


-H. G. Wells letters to the press

-Periodical articles by and about Wells

-Materials related to Joseph Conrad and George Bernard Shaw

-Correspondence from H. G. Wells

-Correspondence to H. G. Wells

-List of H. G. Wells cartoons


-H. G. Wells manuscripts

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Manuscripts],
[Series 2: Picshuas [Cartoons]],
[Series 3: Correspondence to Wells],
[Series 4: Wells Letters],
[Series 5: Periodical Publications],
[Series 6: Wells Short Works],
[Series 7: Facsimiles],
[Series 8: Wells Letters to the Press],
[Series 9: Photographs],
[Series 10: Criticisms],
[Series 11: SEC-W],
[Series OS: Oversize materials],