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Senate House Library

H.G. Wells Collection

The Collection 

Subject: English literature 

330 volumes of first and subsequent editions and translations of works by H. G. Wells (1866-1946; see ODNB), together with some critical and biographical works about him. The texts begin with the first edition of Wells’s first publication, Text-book of Biology (1893), and continue into the early twenty-first century. They reflect Wells’s extraordinary contributions to fiction, journalism, futurology, the history of science, education, and to the social, sexual, religious and political questions of his times. The variety and number of editions make the collection a valuable source for textual revisions and variants, and for accompanying introductory, critical and illustrative matter, while the cheaper paperbacks from several publishers and the translations (which include Czech and Polish) attest to Wells’s impact as a popular novelist. The important Atlantic Edition of Wells’s works, published between 1924 and 1927, is also present. Wells’s biographer, Michael Foot, annotated nine items. 

The collection was established in 1962 as a collaboration between Senate House Library and the The H.G. Wells Society, to which both parties contributed. In 2012 the Society generously donated 160 volumes to enhance the existing collection. The collection remains open for growth.

The H.G. Wells Collection at Senate House Library – an introduction by Patrick Parrinder, Emeritus Professor at the University of Reading and a Vice President of the H.G. Wells Society.


For an overview of the library, do a mixed classmark search on [Wells]. The collection is held off-site and material requires 48 hours (excluding weekends) to be fetched. 

Related materials 

Further reading 

H.G. Wells: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 4th edn. rev. (London: H.G. Wells Society, 1986)

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