Manuscripts and Special Collections

Frequently Asked Questions about the Lawrence Collections


About Lawrence 

Who was D H Lawrence?

David Herbert Lawrence was born 1885 in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.  He is best known as a novelist, writer of Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley's Lover. He also wrote poetry, short stories, plays, essays, and criticism.


He died in Vence, France in 1930 of tuberculosis after spending much of his life abroad, in locations ranging from Italy and Germany to Australia, Ceylon, Mexico and the American South-West.

Where can I get facts about Lawrence's life?

This section of our website provides a brief biography and timeline for D H Lawrence.


There is also a more detailed biography by John Worthen, Professor of D H Lawrence Studies at Nottingham.


There are also many published biographies on Lawrence, the most recent of these being the three volume Cambridge biography by John Worthen, Mark Kinkead Weekes and David Ellis, published by Cambridge University Press, 1991-1996.

Where can I find out what Lawrence wrote and when it was published?

A short bibliography of Lawrence's works can be found on the D H Lawrence Resources site. For more detailed information about the composition and publication of his works there are many useful books:

  • Paul Poplawski, The Works of D H Lawrence: A Chronological Checklist (Nottingham: D.H. Lawrence Society, 1995) - a concise work which lists Lawrence's works by date of composition, by publication date and alphabetically.
  • Warren Roberts and Paul Poplawski (eds.), A Bibliography of D H Lawrence, third edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001) - an invaluable source of information providing a complete Lawrence publication history; plus details of books and pamphlets about him and a checklist of the manuscripts of his works and their location.
  • Keith Sagar, D H Lawrence: A Calendar of His Works (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1979)
  • Peter Preston, A D H Lawrence Chronology (London: Macmillan, 1994).
  • Paul Poplawski, D H Lawrence: A Reference Companion (Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 1996).
  • Cambridge University Press has, since 1979, been publishing a comprehensive edition of Lawrence's works and letters. The introductions and notes accompanying these editions provide much information about the texts themselves.
Do you have information on the design of dust jackets for first editions?

A Bibliography of D H Lawrence, third edition (edited by Warren Roberts and Paul Poplawski, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001) provides a complete Lawrence publication history and, in most cases, gives a description of the dust-jackets on first editions.


Discussion of dust-jacket design for individual texts might be found throughout Lawrence's correspondence, published in eight volumes of The Letters of D H Lawrence by the Cambridge University Press (1979-2001).


A small number of dust jackets survive on books in the collections.

How can I access critical writings on Lawrence?

Access to full texts of critical works on Lawrence is not provided on this site. The following electronic and printed resources may be useful in locating Lawrence criticism:

  • The D H Lawrence links page provides access to a number of online critical works on Lawrence.
  • Paul Poplawski, D H Lawrence: A Reference Companion (Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 1996) - gives details of general Lawrence criticism and criticism of Lawrence's individual works.
  • James Cowan, D H Lawrence: An Annotated Bibliography of Writings About Him (De Kalb, Ill.: Northern Illinois University Press, 1985) - a 2 volume source listing critical and other works about Lawrence.
  • David Ellis and Ornella de Zordo (eds.), D.H. Lawrence: Critical Assesments (Mountfield: Helm Information, 1992) - gathers together a selection of critical articles on D H Lawrence, organised into 4 volumes: I Contemporary response; II Fiction (I); III Fiction (II); IV Poetry and non-fiction, The modern critical response 1932-1992: general studies.
  • Warren Roberts and Paul Poplawski (eds.), A Bibliography of D H Lawrence, third edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001) - gives details of significant books and pamphlets written about Lawrence.
  • The D H Lawrence Collections contain extensive runs of critical works. These may be identified from the University of Nottingham Library Online Catalogue (NUsearch).
  • Students of The University of Nottingham can find information on resources for English Studies through the Library's Subject Resources web pages.
How much of Lawrence's personal life is incorporated into his fiction?

Lawrence drew heavily on his own experiences in his writing.

  • Many of his works are set in the Nottinghamshire of his childhood or in places he visited throughout his life.
  • His characters are often based on people he knew and events often recall things Lawrence either experienced or knew of.
  • An essay on the locations within Lawrence's work can be found in Keith Sagar (ed.), A D H Lawrence Handbook (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1982).
  • For a plot summary and details of the setting of each work, see Paul Poplawski, D H Lawrence: A Reference Companion (Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 1996).
How was/is Lawrence viewed and received within Nottinghamshire?

D H Lawrence inspired controversy, both throughout his life and after. Although greatly admired and celebrated by many in the local area, his use of local events and characters has often angered those portrayed ungenerously.


Lawrence unflatteringly used his short career at the University as the inspiration for Ursula's college career in The Rainbow.   More important in delaying recognition of Lawrence at Nottingham was local loyalty to Professor Ernest Weekley, whose wife Frieda left him for Lawrence.


Today, the region and the University alike recognise the importance of Lawrence, both as a major local figure and as a writer of international standing.


The University celebrates him in teaching and research, through its D H Lawrence Research Centre and its extensive specialist Library holdings.


Nottinghamshire and Eastwood similarly commemorate him, particularly through the Birthplace Museum in Eastwood, the Lawrence Heritage Centre at Durban House, Eastwood and the activities of the D H Lawrence Society.

What or who influenced and inspired Lawrence's writing?

For information about Lawrence and his writing, researchers are advised to begin by consulting the extensive array of printed literature about his work which is readily available. Of particular value are the recent biographies and the comprehensive edition in eight volumes of The Letters of D H Lawrence, published by the Cambridge University Press (1979-2001).


General enquries about Lawrence's sources of inspiration will be directed to these sources. We are generally only able to respond in detail to such questions if they directly concern known resources in our Lawrence Collections.


Those engaged in specialist studies may find useful information in the Nottingham Lawrence Collections, as accessible in catalogues from this site. Identifying significant material generally demands detailed study of the catalogues and of the material itself by the researcher. The manuscripts collections contain a wide range of papers, some of which discuss Lawrence and his writing or contain contemporary biographical information about him.


Although Lawrence's own letters have now been fully published, the correspondence he received, or which was written between others in his circle, is often useful. The papers of Lawrence researchers, such as Emile Delavenay, Vivian de Sola Pinto and Keith Sagar, contain reports from the writer's family and friends.

How can I find copies of Lawrence's work as an artist?

There is no single resource identifying the location of Lawrence's artistic works. The following two published works reproduce most of Lawrence's paintings:

  • The Paintings of D H Lawrence (London: Mandrake Press, 1929) - contains reproductions of paintings controversially exhibited at the Warren Gallery, London in 1929 and seized by police on the grounds of obscenity.
  • The Paintings of D H Lawrence edited by Mervyn Levy (London: Cory, Adams and Mackay, 1964) - contains reproductions of all D H Lawrence's known paintings, plus several essays regarding his paintings.
What holdings do you have relating to the Lady Chatterley and Rainbow trials?

The following books have been published relating to the censorship and prosecution of Lawrence:

  • Adam Parkes Modernism and the Theater of Censorship (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996) - contains chapters on both The Rainbow and on Lady Chatterley's Lover.
  • The Trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover: Regina vs Penguin Books Limited: the transcript of the trial (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1961).
  • The Lady Chatterley's Lover Trial (London: Bodley Head, 1990).
  • D H Lawrence Sex, Literature and Censorship edited by Harry T. Moore (New York: Viking Press, 1959).
  • Charles Rembar The End of Obscenity: the trials of Lady Chatterley, Tropic of Cancer, and Fanny Hill (London: Deutsch, 1969)

Discussions on this topic may also be found in many of the biographical and critical works written about Lawrence.


The collections at Nottingham contain relevant material, including, in addition to the published works listed above, newspaper cuttings relating to the Penguin Books Lady Chatterley's Lover trial.

Which of Lawrence's works have been made into films?

There have been a number of film versions of Lawrence's works.  The D H Lawrence Resources site links to a Lawrence filmography by the Internet Movie Database.


Paul Poplawski's D H Lawrence: A Reference Companion (Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 1996) contains a chapter on Lawrence and Film which, as well as a filmography, includes essays and a bibliography of works relating to Lawrence and film.

Are there any audio or video recordings of Lawrence?
None have been traced. David Gerard 'Films and sound recordings relating to Lawrence' in Keith Sagar, A D H Lawrence Handbook (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1982) is somewhat dated but remains useful.


About our Lawrence collections and resources 

Why does the University of Nottingham have these D H Lawrence collections and resources?

Lawrence is closely associated with the local area, not only because he was born in Nottinghamshire and attended High School here, but also because his writings drew on his own life and often recall Nottinghamshire in their settings. He is also a former student of University College, Nottingham (which later became the University of Nottingham).


Since the 1950s there has been University interest in the study of Lawrence, leading to the development of a collection of D H Lawrence books and manuscripts, to the provision of other Lawrence resources for students and researchers and to the establishment of a D H Lawrence Research Centre.

I'm looking for courses on D H Lawrence, am I in the right place?

These web pages provide details about the University of Nottingham's D H Lawrence collections of books and manuscripts.


Those interested in the academic study of Lawrence at Nottingham, or in occasional events and workshops, should use the link to Lawrence Resources elsewhere at the University. Information is not generally provided about events or courses at other locations.

What are the D H Lawrence Collections? Where are they?

The D H Lawrence Collections are a part of the University's Lawrence resources and comprise books, journals, manuscripts and associated material by and about D H Lawrence.


The D H Lawrence Collections are made up of two separately managed collections: the D H Lawrence Manuscripts Collection and the D H Lawrence Printed Collection.


They are housed in Manuscripts and Special Collections, at King's Meadow Campus.

Does the printed collection just contain all first editions of Lawrence's books?

The printed collection contains a wide variety of published material.  This includes first editions of Lawrence novels, essays, short stories and poetry.


In addition there are editions of his works published both during his lifetime and since. There are also biographical and critical works about and relating to Lawrence, dating from the 1920s to the present.

Does the manuscripts collection just contain manuscripts of his works?

The manuscripts collection does contain some literary works by Lawrence, both handwritten and typescript. It also contains correspondence written by Lawrence, proof copies of some of his works and several artworks by him.


A wide range of related material is also present, including:

  • photographs
  • correspondence of Lawrence's friends and contemporaries
  • unpublished biographical works about Lawrence
  • research correspondence and papers regarding Lawrence conferences and commemorative events
Can anybody view items from the D H Lawrence Collections?

Anyone can apply to consult the collections at Manuscripts and Special Collections, in our public Reading Room at King's Meadow Campus.


Access is granted after an interview and registration procedure, which enables visitors to explain their research interest and their need to use the collections. Please see the Visiting the Reading Room and Reprographics Services sections for further details about access and reprographics.

Can readers see all the material in the D H Lawrence collections?

For preservation reasons, the handling of manuscripts and rare materials needs to be limited.  Readers may be directed to a more accessible published copy of the texts they seek.


For the same reasons, readers are usually required in the first instance to consult surrogate copies of manuscripts by Lawrence.

How do I find out what is in the D H Lawrence Collections?

See records for the D H Lawrence collection of printed material in the Library Online Catalogue.

See collection-level records for Lawrence-related manuscript collections in the Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

The Holdings at Nottingham page has further details about the collections.

Can I browse the Collections on the shelves, rather than use catalogues?

No, this is not possible as the D H Lawrence Collections are subject to restricted access.


Registered readers must use catalogues to identify the items they wish to see and fill out a request slip in order to consult items in the Reading Room.

I have used the library catalogue to look for specific titles.  How can I use it to browse the DHL printed collection?

Browse records for the D H Lawrence collection of printed material in the library catalogue NUsearch.

Can I borrow items from the D H Lawrence Collections?

No, this is not possible.  Material from the Collections can only be used in our Reading Room at King's Meadow Campus.


Members of the University of Nottingham should seek staff advice about other copies of Lawrence materials on campus.

I don't live near Nottingham, can I see any of the manuscripts collection on the web?

No, none of the manuscripts have been digitised for online delivery.


Lawrence's corrected proof for Odour of Chrysanthemums is available as part of an eLearning resource.

How can I find out about other Lawrence collections, held elsewhere?
The D H Lawrence Resources web pages provide a list of Lawrence collections elsewhere in Nottinghamshire, in the U.K. and worldwide.


Other Lawrence-related enquiries 

What issues are involved with the reproduction of Lawrence's work, particularly relating to photographs of him?

There are two main issues involved in reproducing material: reproduction rights and copyright. 


Reproduction rights rest with the owner of the material; copyright rests with the creator of material, or their heirs. The owner of material is, in many cases, not the same as the owner of copyright.


Reproduction rights

Before reproducing or publishing any material from the Lawrence collections in any form, the reader must apply to the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections in advance for permission to make published use of material.


We charge a reproduction fee, details of which are available by contacting Manuscripts and Special Collections.


We will also liaise with any private owners whose material is held at Nottingham.



In order to reproduce or publish material, the researcher must first ascertain whether the material is still covered by copyright. Copyright is complex and is dependent on a number of factors, including whether the author/artist is known, when the author/photographer died and whether material has been previously published.


For copyright material, the reader must apply to the copyright holder for permission to publish. The identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.


Manuscripts and Special Collections will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

Can I use the material on your website?

You may use material on this website for private research and personal study.


The website content - all text and images - are owned by The University of Nottingham and cannot be reproduced or published in any form without prior written permission of Manuscripts and Special Collections.


See the University statement on web copyright.

Can I link to your site?

Manuscripts and Special Collections is happy for appropriate sites to link to the D H Lawrence Resources.


If you let us know you are linking to our site, we will ensure that you are notified of any future changes to the page urls.

Will you link to my site? Or advertise my Lawrence resource?
Manuscripts and Special Collections does occasionally link to other relevant D H Lawrence sites and resources. If you would like to be considered for inclusion on our site, please contact us providing full details.
Does this site provide access to online texts of Lawrence's works

Lawrence's short story, Odour of Chrysanthemums, is the subject of an eLearning resource and the various drafts are available online.


There are no other online texts at the present time.


The links page includes other websites that do offer online texts.

Can the site help me with the essay I am writing on D H Lawrence?
This website does not include literary criticism of Lawrence's works.  This site only offers information about Lawrence and publication details which may aid your Lawrence research.
Can you identify this Lawrence quote?

It is often difficult to identify the source of a quote.  Lawrence was a prolific writer not only of novels, but also of poetry, short stories, plays and essays.


For poetry quotations, readers are advised to try locating a copy of the following published concordance:

  • A Concordance to the Poetry of D.H. Lawrence, edited by Reloy Garcia and James Karabatsos (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1970)
Can I ask you for further help?

Yes, we endeavour to answer all enquiries relevant to our collections or to direct enquirers to sources of further help.  But we are not Lawrence scholars and can only provide information based on our collections.



  • undertake personal research
  • provide guidance on writing essays
  • give details or opinions regarding the subject or content of Lawrence's works

Enquirers should contact us.



Next page: About the DH Lawrence Collections


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651