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Auden, W. H. (1907-1973)

The Library has outstanding collections relating to the English poet W.H. Auden (1907 - 1973). These include first and later editions of his poetry books, libretti and other works, magazines in which his poems and essays were first published, critical studies, sound recordings, letters, and notebooks.

We also have a comprehensive collection of English literature periodicals, in hardcopy and online, in which articles and research papers on the poet and his poetry have been published.

Cecil Beaton photograph

Cecil Beaton photograph, by courtesy of Sotheby's Picture Library, London © The British Library Board


Unique items include two manuscript notebooks: one from the period 1927-36 (Manuscript shelfmark: Add.52430), the other covering the years 1947-65 (Manuscript shelfmark: Add.53772). Auden's extremely rare first book, privately printed by Stephen Spender and at the Holywell Press in Oxford in 1928, is also held in the collections. The Library's copy originally belonged to Auden's friend Edward Upward, and contains alterations in Auden's handwriting to individual poems (Shelfmark: C.190.aa.24). This and other printed books and periodicals are entered in Explore the British Library.

In the Humanities Reading Room his Collected poems are shelved at HLR.821.912 AUD.

A two CD set of W.H. Auden is available in the British Library's Spoken Word Series.


British Library Manuscripts Catalogue Auden is entered as Auden (Wystan Hugh)
British Library Sound Archive Catalogue
English Literature: A Guide to Resources

External Links

National Portrait Gallery Catalogue
UK National Register of Archives
W. H. Auden Society


B. C. Bloomfield and Edward Mendelson. W.H. Auden: a bibliography, 1924-1969. 2nd ed.. Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1972. Shelfmark: X.981/3932.

Martin E. Gingerich. W.H. Auden: a reference guide. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1977. Shelfmark: X.981/20924