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Collection Level Description: Papers of Bruce Montgomery, 'Edmund Crispin', (1921-78)

Reference: MSS. Eng. b. 2046; c. 2356-8, c. 3824-992; d. 2435-8; e. 2782-9; Photogr. c. 32-3
Title: Papers of Bruce Montgomery, 'Edmund Crispin', (1921-78)
Dates of Creation: 1933-83
Extent: 192 shelfmarks

Language of Material: English

Administrative/Biographical History

Robert Bruce Montgomery (1921-1978) was a detective novelist under the pseudonym of Edmund Crispin, and composer in his own name. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of many hundreds of letters written to Montgomery during the course of his life, reflecting in particular his triple involvement in the worlds of literature, music and film. A large quantity of his working papers is also preserved, and although the manuscripts of most of Montgomery's published works do not survive, there is a great deal of material relating to his activities as a composer, anthologist and reviewer, together with notes and drafts of unfinished and unpublished projects. These include several plays and essays written as an undergraduate, and among his Oxford papers are a series of cartoons drawn by Montgomery and Philip Larkin, and a set of Larkin's notes and essays on Chaucer. Between 1943 and 1945 Larkin also sent Montgomery drafts of the poems he was currently working on, whilst his own annotations appear on several of Montgomery's manuscripts.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to the Library in 1986.

Access Conditions

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

It was a condition of the gift that letters from Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin should not be made available for research until fifty years after their respective deaths. Philip Larkin's letters, accordingly, will be released in 2035; Kingsley Amis's in 2045. A few other groups of letters are currently restricted.

Further Information

Finding Aids

A full catalogue is available in the Library.

Related Units of Description

For Montgomery's music manuscripts see Music Manuscripts of Robert Bruce Montgomery.

Access Points

Novelists | 20th century

Montgomery | Robert Bruce | 1921-1978 | Writer as Edmund Crispin

Contact Information
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Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
09 June 2011