University of Manchester Collections

The Library holds the world’s most important collection of literary manuscripts by Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865), including the only complete manuscript of one of her novels (Wives and Daughters) and her celebrated biography of her friend Charlotte Brontë. Her archive also contains nearly 400 letters from notable figures – including Brontë, Charles Dickens, Thomas Carlyle, George Eliot, John Ruskin and many more – some of which were sent to Gaskell herself and some which she acquired for her own autograph collection. In addition there are artefacts (such as Gaskell’s inkstand) and famous portraits. Two related collections also contain significant Gaskelliana: the Jamison Family Archive, and the papers of Gaskell scholar and collector J.G. Sharps. Material from all of these collections has been digitised, along with some items which remain in the possession of Gaskell’s descendants. Together, these constitute an outstanding digital resource relating to Gaskell, her work and the circles in which she moved.