Philip Larkin

The poet Philip Larkin is photographed in 1974 stood with his hands crossed, gazing fixedly to the right side of the scene away from the camera lens. He is stood between cases of bookshelves, probably in a large library. He is wearing his characteristic thick-rimmed black framed glasses.
Philip Larkin 1974

The British Library houses a special collection of books by or about the poet Philip Larkin, formerly owned by Larkin's bibliographer B.C. Bloomfield.

About the collection

The collection comprises over 200 books by or about the poet Philip Larkin (1922-1985), formerly owned by Larkin’s bibliographer. This extensive collection contains many first and subsequent editions with dust-jackets, proof copies and translations of Larkin’s works. The collection is identified in Explore the British Library by the shelfmark prefix “Larkin”. This special collection complements the books by and about Philip Larkin in the general collections. Philip Larkin’s Collected Poems is available on open access in the Humanities 1 reading room at shelfmark HLR.821.914 LAR

What is available online?

The British Library's English and Drama blog has taken a look at Larkin's published writing, the Bloomfield bibliography and the collection of Larkin books now at the British Library.

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

Registered Readers can request items to the Rare Books & Music Reading Room using Explore the British Library .

What is available in other organisations?

The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford holds an important collection of letters by Larkin in addition to a collection of medals, certificates and miscellaneous objects belonging to Larkin.

The Hull History Centre (which houses the Hull City Archives, Hull Local Studies Library and the University of Hull Archives) holds several significant archive collections relating to Larkin including his poetry workbooks, letters and photographs

Further information

  • B.C. Bloomfield. Philip Larkin: A Bibliography 1933-1976. London: Faber, 1979. Shelfmark: X.989/54071
  • B.C. Bloomfield. Philip Larkin: A Bibliography 1933-1994. London: British Library, 2002. Shelfmark: 2725.g.3305
  • Andrew Motion. Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life. London: Faber, 1993. Shelfmark YC.1993.b.2036