Ronald Duncan's literary archive - a special collection


Ronald Duncan's literary archive of manuscripts, journals, letters and photographs is held within Special Collections at the University of Exeter. It provides a fascinating insight into the life and work of a West Country writer and is open for readers to research and discover first-hand, documents relating to post nineteen-thirties literary and popular culture. Please arrange visits in advance through the University Library.

The Archive provides resources on twentieth-century poetry and drama e.g. documents about the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre, John Whiting and George Devine. There are  early editions of the literary Townsman Magazine (1938-1944) whose contributors include modernist poets E.E. Cummings, Ezra Pound and T.S Eliot.

Other papers provide evidence of Duncan's musical interests: collaborations with composer Benjamin Britten and with Lord Harewood, friend and founder of the English Opera Group. Letters and articles reveal his important influences and relationships: Gandhi, Jacob Epstein, Cocteau, Gaudier Breszka; and show the writer's journalistic output, reflections on politics, farming in Devon and self-sufficiency.

Below is a link to the electronic, searchable finding aid of Ronald Duncan Papers held at Exeter University.

 ExeterUni logo


For information about visiting the Ronald Duncan literary archive or information regarding copyrights to publish work by Ronald Duncan contact:

Caroline Walter, Project Archivist

(Ronald Duncan Archive) Special Collections,

Old Library, University of Exeter,

Prince of Wales Road,

Exeter, Devon, EX4 4SB

E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 T: +44 (0)1392 72(3010)

 ronald-duncan-collections linkRonald Duncan Collections at Exeter University


Additional Duncan papers can be found in the library at the University of Texas at Austin, now available to search online through this link.

 HarryRansomCentre Texas




all content © 2011 Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation | website by Daneswood