Walter de la Mare Library

The collection

The Walter de la Mare Library is in two parts, (1) the working library and (2) the De la Mare Family Archive of Walter de la Mare’s Printed Oeuvre. The former comprises almost 700 items owned and used by the writer and poet Walter de la Mare (1873-1956), dating largely from his lifetime; about 300 of them bear de la Mare’s annotations, mostly before 1910. The collection includes gifts from other writers. Subjects cover historical and contemporary literature and also include science, history and travel. The family archive comprises some 420 titles and consists chiefly of editions of De la Mare’s work, including translations, with some works about him. Several items were marked up by De la Mare or his son and publisher Richard, or inscribed from de la Mare to various members of his family.


The collector

The working library was collected by the poet and writer Walter de la Mare (see ODNB). The family archive was primarily brought together by his son Richard (1902-1986).



The working library was acquired in 2005 through the good offices of Giles de la Mare, the writer’s grandson, and the generosity of the Friends of Senate House Library, and supplemented by 50 items in 2011. The family archive was given by the literary trustees of Walter de la Mare in 2009.



Catalogued online, 2008-9 (working library) and 2010 (family archive). For an overview of the library, do a mixed classmark search on [WdlM] for the entire collection, or [WdlM] T for the family archive. For books in the family archive, the presence of a dustwrapper is always explicitly stated.

The collection is held off-site and material requires 48 hours (excluding weekends) to be fetched.


Related archives

LS/7/22 (correspondence between Wilfred Partington and Walter de la Mare); MS800/III (single De la Mare letters within the Cammaerts papers), AL263 (two letters); MS978/1/11/9 (correspondence with Thomas Sturge Moore).


Select publications

Attar, K. E., ‘Modern Special Collections Cataloguing: A University of London Case Study’, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 45 (2013), 168-76. About the family archive.
De la Mare, Giles, ‘The Walter de la Mare Library’, Walter de la Mare Society Magazine, 11 (2008), 3-47. Description and catalogue of the working library.
De la Mare, Giles, ‘The Walter de la Mare Working Library: 2011 Addendum’, Walter de la Mare Society Magazine, 15 (2013), 38-43.


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