Literature and the arts

These collections feature individual works by and about prominent literary figures and material related to the arts.

Abbey Theatre tray cloth
Abbey Theatre tray cloth

The Abbey Theatre tray cloth

Printed on linen, the cloth shows the 1913 cast of The Shewing Up of Blanco Posnet, by George Bernard Shaw.

It was sold for $1.00 in April 1913 with proceeds going toward the establishment of a permanent gallery for modern art collected by Sir Hugh Lane, Lady Gregory's nephew.

cropped portrait of Audrey Alexandra Brown
Portrait of Audrey Alexandra Brown

Audrey Alexandra Brown collection

Audrey Alexandra Brown was born in Nanaimo, B.C. in 1904. She published five volumes of verse, a diary, and newspaper articles, earning her the Lorne Pierce medal in 1944 and the Order of Canada in 1967.

James Joyce and Adrienne Monnier in rue de l'Odeon
James Joyce and Adrienne Monnier in rue de l'Odeon

From Paris to Victoria: The Gisèle Freund Photographs of James Joyce

This online exhibit is a digital version of an exhibit held at the University of Victoria Special Collections and University Archives, which was the first time Gisèle Freund's James Joyce photographs had been shown in Canada. Special Collections houses Freund's personal and public material relating to the book, James Joyce in Paris: His Final Years.

For more information about modernist collections at UVic Libraries, see Fronts of Modernity: The 20th-Century Collections at the University of Victoria Libraries

James Joyce pictured with his grandson

Gisèle Freund photographs of James Joyce in Paris

This exhibit features a series of photographs taken by Gisèle Freund featuring James Joyce during his last years in Paris.

Many of the photographs in the exhibit were previously unpublished and are presented under an agreement with the Estate of Gisèle Freund/IMEC Images.

K.E. Maltwood portrait, detail.
Detail from K. E. Maltwood portrait

Katharine Emma Maltwood (nee Sapsworth)

Katharine Emma Maltwood (nee Sapsworth) was an artist and author who held a life-long fascination with ancient history, folklore, mythology, spirituality, and the occult. This collection of digital surrogates represents items from the University of Victoria Libraries’ Katharine Emma Maltwood Fonds. It is of note that many of the seemingly unrelated items in the archive are associated with zodiacal symbolism in some manner.

Browse collection

detail of poster for The Merry Widow
Detail of The Merry Widow

Pacific Opera Victoria Poster Collection

In 2013, Pacific Opera Victoria (POV) staged its 100th production, Verdi's Falstaff. This collection of posters was gathered to celebrate that milestone.

The posters show as much variety as the productions they advertise, drawing on local illustrators, photographers and typographers to convey the flavour of each opera.

first page of the first printing of the Picture of Dorian Gray
Detail from the first page of the Lippincott edition

Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890

In 1890, Oscar Wilde published the first version of The Picture of Dorian Gray in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. The 2011 teaching edition edited by Dr. James Gifford makes the 1890 version of the novel available for wider use.

thumbnail image from diary
An image from the diary

Robert Graves Diary, 1935-1939

Robert Graves (1895-1985) is a major 20th-century English poet, novelist and essayist. After founding the Seizin Press he moved to Deya, Majorca.

Robert Graves, 1974
Robert Graves, 1974

Robert Graves Malahat Review Photographs

Photographs taken to supplement the July, 1975 edition of the University of Victoria's Malahat Review, issue number 35 edited by Robin Skelton and William David Thomas. The edition was subtitled "A Gathering in Celebration of the Eightieth Birthday of Robert Graves".

Tarr title page detail
Tarr, title page detail

Wyndham Lewis

Wyndham Lewis, (1882–1957), artist and writer, is perhaps best known for forming a group of artists and writers known as the vorticists (a term created by poet Ezra Pound in early 1914). Ezra Pound arranged for Tarr , Lewis’s first novel, to be published in serial form in The Egoist magazine (1916-1917) while Lewis was serving in WWI.