menu icon mobile devices search icon mobile devicesSearch the site

Alison Uttley Papers

Date range: 1903-1994.

Papers of Alison Uttley (1884-1976), the well-known children's writer.

Born Alice Jane Taylor in Cromford, Derbyshire, she developed a love of science at school, and won a scholarship to read physics at Manchester University; in 1906 she became only the second woman honours graduate of the university.

Her writing career was born of necessity: her husband, James Arthur Uttley, died in 1930, his health broken by service in the First World War.

In order to support herself and her son she began to write a series of stories about animals such as Little Grey Rabbit, Little Red Fox, Sam Pig and Hare.

Her writing career blossomed, and she continued to write stories for young children, while expanding her range by writing for older children and adults.

Alison Uttley was the author of over one hundred books, and was awarded an honorary Litt.D. by Manchester University in 1970.

The collection includes:

  • 40 unpublished personal diaries, 1932-1971
  • numerous notebooks containing rough drafts of stories, jottings of dreams, memories, experiences and quotations
  • scrapbooks containing press cuttings and reviews of Uttley's works
  • numerous copies of her works, in manuscript, typescript and proof copy form
  • copies of illustrations by artists such as Charles Tunnicliffe and Margaret Tempest
  • correspondence with Walter de la Mare and others
  • cuttings, postcards and photographs

In addition to Tunnicliffe and Tempest, many other notable illustrators are represented in the collection, including Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Harry Neilson and Randolph Caldecott.

The Library also holds a collection of books from Alison Uttley's personal library.

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • Books recorded in .

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

Can we help?