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Special Collections owns a variety of literary manuscripts by American and British authors, including Mormon authors. Major collections include the papers of Zane Grey, Orson Scott Card, and Orson F. Whitney, and the Magee Collection of Victorian and Edwardian Manuscripts, which contains the manuscripts of novelist Mary St. Leger Harrison (Lucas Malet) and correspondence by such 19th-century luminaries as Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Anthony Trollope, Florence Nightingale, and Lord Byron. Special Collections also possesses complete and partial literary manuscripts of works by Louisa May Alcott, G.K. Chesterton, Thomas Burke, Henry James, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The literary collections also include correspondence by a number of American and British authors of the 19th and 20th centuries. Letters of Walt Whitman, Ambrose Bierce, Theodore Dreiser, and Ida M. Tarbell can all be found among the library’s manuscript collections, as can letters by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, W. Somerset Maugham, and Robert Graves.
Most recently, the Library has acquired the papers of author Lloyd Alexander and poet Leslie Norris, late Poet-in-Residence at BYU.