Department of Special Collections and University Archives
McFarlin Library. University of Tulsa.  2933 E. 6th St.  Tulsa, OK.  74104-3123 (OKT - OkTU)

Rebecca West papers

Collection 1986-002

Dates:  Late 1800s-1987.

Extent:  (293 boxes, 3 oversize).

Level of Description:  Item level.

Name of creator(s):  [Rebecca West].

Date of creation:  Undetermined.

Scope and Content:   The papers are organized into four series:  Correspondence; Writings; Personal Papers; and Oversize. 

Series 1: Correspondence
The correspondence consists of letters exchanged by Rebecca West and colleagues, friends, publishers, and family members.   This series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.   A group of letters from unidentified correspondents is placed at the end of the sequence.   See also the Name/Title/Subject Index to the Manuscript Notebooks (in the Series 2 inventory) for a listing of fragments of letters found in the Notebooks; these fragments HAVE NOT been cross-referenced to Series 1.  This series
is housed in 70 boxes

Series 2: Writings
The writings consist of major works, unfinished and unpublished works, and newspaper and magazine articles.   This series is arranged alphabetically by title (e.g.  Birds Fall Down, The), or by first word when untitled.   This series also contains book reviews (arranged in an alphabetical sequence by author of the book reviewed) and reader's reports (arranged in a separate alphabetical sequence by author of the book reported); Rebecca West's notebooks which contain drafts and draft fragments of novels, articles, book reviews, letters, and personal notes, as well as Rebecca West’s sketches and drawings.  Individual fragments have been described as best possible and the descriptions listed in an index which precedes the manuscript notebook section of this inventory; research and reference materials include Rebecca West’s notes, notes transcribed from other sources, newspaper and magazine articles, etc., which we assume Rebecca West used in her writing.   Photographs and postcards thought to have been collected for similar purposes are arranged alphabetically by location or subject.  This series is housed in 122 boxes

Series 3: Personal Papers
The personal papers were originally grouped into Accounts (Personal (A); Professional (B); Farm; Garden; House; Petty Cash) and a general file containing further Accounts materials mixed with additional papers and correspondence.  The integrity of the original Accounts files has not been disturbed; but it has not been possible

to cross-reference materials in this series fully.   A reader searching a general subject—e.g.  Professional (B)—may want also to review "accountants" and "solicitors" n this series; publishers in Series 1; and the Name/Title/Subject Index for manuscript notebooks in Series 2.  On the whole, the papers in Series 3 consist of the following types of materials arranged alphabetically by subject (or by name of correspondent where subject cannot be determined) and chronologically within each subject group:

  • correspondence, records, invoices, and receipts to/from Rebecca West and accountants, art galleries, auto mechanics, insurers, solicitors, surveyors, auctioneers, estate agents, etc;
  • financial records, bank statements, cancelled cheques, invoices, etc., for Personal (A) and Professional (B) accounts; records of productivity and expenditures for Twigside Farm, Ibstone Manor and garden, Kingston House North, etc;
  • autobiographical blurbs;
  • birth, baptism, marriage, and death certificates, passports, wills and codicils for Rebecca West and her husband, Henry M.  Andrews; autograph will of H.G. Wells; documents of Rebecca  West's honorary degrees and various other awards;
  • papers relating to the Fairfield ancestry consisting of letters, diagrams, and numerous documents;
  • address books, telephone indices;
  • journals containing personal notes dating from 1945 to 1982 and appointment diaries dating from 1917-1984;
  • non-research photographs, including individual portraits and snapshots of Rebecca West in various stages of her life; Rebecca West with other people (identified where possible); family members and friends (Rebecca West and Andrews); and miscellaneous photographs of landscapes, etc;
  • press cuttings, mostly of newspaper and magazine articles about Rebecca West, arranged by decade (1920-1984);
  • employment records for domestic, farm, and secretarial help;
  • correspondence and brochures relating to travel and entertainment;
  • papers relating to Rebecca West's medical care including 2 spiral notebooks of nurses notes taken during her final illness;
  • miscellaneous autograph notes, printed ephemera, excised pages from various sources, French visiting cards, membership cards, etc.

Administrative/Biographical History:  The collection was accompanied by a rough but extensive inventory prepared by, Diana Stainforth, Rebecca West’s last secretary.

Access and Copyright:

Language and Scripts:   English, primarily.

Finding aid/Inventory:  Finding aid is available online.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition:   Purchased from Bertram Rota, 1986.   Additional correspondence between West and her grandson, Edmund West, as well correspondence with her ex-daughter-in-law, Kitty West, acquired in 1992 from Cheryl and Edmund West.  A few items have been added from other sources.

Date(s) of description:    Milissa Burkart, Aug 1992; rev. Jul 1996; Sept 2007.

Access Points:

Subject Headings 

Personal names 

Corporate names


Chronology of Major Works

1916 Henry James.   London: Nisbet.   New York: Henry Holt.   
1918 The Return of the Soldier.  London: Nisbet.  New York: Company; Carroll & Graf, 1990.  
1922 The Judge.   London: Hutchinson; Virago, 1980.  New York: Dial, 1980.  
1928  The Strange Necessity.   London: Jonathan Cape; Virago, 1987.  New York: Doubleday.  
   Lions and Lambs.   With David Low.   London: Hutchinson.   New York: Harcourt Brace & Co.  
1929 Harriet Hume.   London: Hutchinson.  New York: Doubleday.  
1933 St.  Augustine.   London: Peter Davies.  New York: D.Appleton & Company.  
1934 The Modern "Rakes’s Progress".   London: Hutchinson.  
1935 The Harsh Voice.  London: Jonathan Cape; Virago, 1982.  New York: Doubleday.  Hamburg: Albatross.  
1936 The Thinking Reed .  London: Hutchinson; Virago, 1984.  New York: Viking.  Hamburg: Albatross.  
1941 Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.  London: Macmillan.  New York:  Viking.  
1947 The Meaning of Treason.  New York: Viking.  
1949 The Meaning of Treason.  London: Macmillan.  
1955 A Train of Powder.  London: Macmillan.  
1956 The Fountain Overflows.  London: Macmillan; Virago, 1987.   New York: Viking.  
1957 The Court and the Castle.  London: Macmillan.  New Haven:  Yale University Press.  
1964 The New Meaning of Treason.  New York: Viking.  
1966 The Birds Fall Down.  London: Macmillan.  New York: Viking.  
1977 Rebecca West:  A Celebration.  London: Macmillan.  New York: Viking.  
1982 1900.  London: Wiedenfield and Nicolson.  New York: Viking.  
  The Young Rebecca.   London: Macmillan (in association with Virago).  
1984 This Real Night.  London: Macmillan.  
1985  Cousin Rosamund.  London: Macmillan; Virago, 1986; Viking Penguin, 1986.  
1986 Sunflower.  London: Virago; Penguin, 1988.  
1987 Parental Memoirs.   London: Virago.  New York: Viking, 1988.  
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Revised: 12/08/11.

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