inklings collection

The Inklings Collection includes over 1,000 first editions, letters and manuscripts, ephemera and photographs, and artifacts related to C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Lord David Cecil, Major Warren Lewis, Hugo Dyson, Nevill Coghill, John Wain Colin Hardie, Adam Fox, J. A. W. Bennett, R. B. McCallum, and Christopher Tolkien, plus similar items from their friends Joy Davidman, Dorothy L. Sayers, Owen Barfield, Ruth Pitter, and G. K. Chesterton.

The collection is available for exhibit at municipal and university libraries. The collection continues to grow, but it already includes most of the first editions of the Lewis brothers, the Tolkiens, Lord David Cecil, Dorothy L. Sayers…and Hugo Dyson.

Selections from the collection appear below (click on the images for a larger version).

  • The first complete American edition of The Lord of the Rings

  • The pirated first paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings

  • A contemporary photograph of King Edward's School in Birmingham from the period when Tolkien was a student before going up to Oxford

  • The first edition of the three books from Lewis's wartime radio broadcasts for the BBC which would be published in a combined edition as Mere Christianity

  • Lewis's inaugural address at Cambridge University as Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature

  • A cream pitcher from University College from the period of Lewis's days there as an undergraduate

  • A typed letter signed by Charles Williams acknowledging an invitation to dine which indicates his weekly evening schedule of activities

  • A typed letter signed by Dorothy L. Sayers discussing the casting of Lord Peter Wimsey in her play Busman's Honeymoon

  • First edition of Joy Davidman's first novel Anya

  • First edition of Lord David Cecil's biography of Lord Melbourne which was President John Kennedy's favorite book

  • An ash tray and spoon from the Mitre Hotel in Oxford from the period when the Inklings enjoyed eating there in the 1930s and earlier