Exeter resources

The University of Exeter hold a rich and extensive variety of printed sources relating to nineteenth-century literature, culture, and society. The library has extensive primary holdings in nineteenth-century literature, poetry, history, and journals, together with large contextual holdings of more recent critical works. Major runs of nineteenth-century periodicals include PunchQueenIllustrated London NewsGraphicQuarterly ReviewEdinburgh ReviewBlackwood’s Edinburgh MagazineLiterary Gazette, Penny MagazineSaturday Magazine, Strand, and numerous others. The extensive collection is augmented by several major archival collections, especially the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, Hypatia Collection, and Chris Brooks Collection (see beneath).

The university has also invested heavily in large digital archives, including the British Periodicals Online, Victorian Popular Culture Portal and 19th Century British Library Newspapers. Postgraduate students, whether studying for an MA or PhD, also have unique opportunities to study nineteenth-century material and visual culture. The resources listed below help to facilitate the interdisciplinary approach of the Centre for Victorian Studies.

The Chris Brooks Collection

The collection comprises approximately 10,000 books and periodicals, the majority of which are primary sources. Particular strengths of the collection are in adult and juvenile fiction (c4000 volumes); poetry; runs of periodicals such as All the Year RoundThe Boy's Own PaperCornhill MagazineFireside, and Good Words; and architecture, visual and decorative arts. There are also strong contextual holdings of works on nineteenth-century history, literary criticism and the visual arts.

The Devon and Exeter Institution

The Devon and Exeter Institution is an independent subscription library founded in 1813 and housed in a Grade 2* listed building in the Cathedral Close. The Library collection, c40,000 volumes, is particularly strong in West Country materials and 18th- and 19th-century books.

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

The centre is both a public museum and an academic research centre, housing one of Britain's largest public collections of books, prints, artefacts and ephemera relating to the long history of screen practice. There are over 65,000 items in the collection. Holdings include many examples of nineteenth-century panoramas, dioramas, magic lanterns, stereoscopes, peepshows, optical illusions, and early cinema handbills. Artefacts are complemented by printed works relating to nineteenth-century science, technology, domestic leisure and popular entertainment.

The Devon Record Office

The Devon Record Office, and the West Country Studies Library, located together in the centre of Exeter, contain a wealth of material pertaining to the history and culture of nineteenth-century Devon, and are particularly valuable for their runs of local newspapers, prints, and official parish and city records.

The Hypatia Collection

A rich and diverse collection of books and journals by or about women collected by Melissa Hardie, chiefly nineteenth- to twentieth-century. The collection is strongest on biography, social life, occupations and history, literature (especially fiction) and the arts. It includes significant collections of nineteenth-century women writers such as Mary Braddon and Ellen Wood, as well as runs of women’s periodicals such as La Belle AssembleeBelgravia, and the Girl’s Own Paper.

John Betjeman's Library

The working library of Sir John Betjeman, comprises c. 4,000 volumes; its holdings are particularly strong in English poetry, especially of the nineteenth-century; early twentieth-century schoolboy novels; Victorian bindings; the English parish church; nineteenth and twentieth-century architecture; and English topography.