Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Conrad mss., 1886-1935, are the papers of novelist Joseph Conrad, 1857-1924. Józef Teodor Conrad Korzeniowski was born in the city of Berdyczów, Ukraine and raised by parents of Polish descent. As a young man he joined first the French Merchant Marine, then an English mercantile ship, and spent fifteen years traveling as a seaman to Africa and other part of the world. He became a British citizen while at sea, changing his name to Joseph Conrad; and when he returned he moved to England and lived the rest of his life there. Conrad wrote the most significant of his novels in the English language, including Lord Jim (1900), Heart of Darkness (1902), Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), and Chance (1914).

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Clippings; III. Gontran Goulden; IV. Writings.

Correspondents include: Edwin August Björkman, Sir Hugh Clifford, Sir Sidney Colvin, Jessie (George) Conrad, Richard Curle, Sidney Dark, Charles Davray, Sir Jacob Epstein, Lionel Ford, Edward Garnett, Douglas Goldring, Charles Larcon Graves, Austin Harrison, Spiridion Kliazczewski, Edward Verral Lucas, George Mansfield, Andrew Melrose, Sir Henry Norman, Violet Paget, Sydney S. Pawling, Sir Lewis Anselmo Ritchie, Edward Shanks, Sir John Collings Squire, and Thomas Fisher Unwin.

The Gontran Goulden series contains materials from Goulden's archive detailing his personal and professional relationship with Conrad, including items detailing his dramatic adaptation of The Secret Agent in 1921.

Also included in the collection are notes for speeches given by Conrad in the United States, notes on his books, the short story "Because of the Dollars," a late draft of "Part III" of Suspense, a review of John Galsworthy's The Man of Property, Conrad's 1912 article "Some Aspects of the Admirable Inquiry into the Loss of the Titanic," William McFee's "The Ideal Wife of a Genius," Ford Madox Ford's introduction to The Sisters, two pen and ink sketches, Sir David Low's crayon caricature of Conrad, and photographs.

An inventory and a finding aid are available.

Acquired: 1986; 1987; 1997; 2009

Collection size: 45 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.