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John Riley Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10038

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of bound and unbound poetry and prose, chiefly by Riley; correspondence, chiefly addressed to Riley; and miscellaneous printed and manuscript items. The notebooks include some entries relating to the administration of the Grosseteste Press and Grosseteste Review, and in several places in the collection there are evidences of Riley's creative and business relationship with Tim Longville.


  • Creation: 1955-1979 (circa)


Conditions Governing Access

The collection contains personal correspondence. The provisions of the Data Protection Act (1998) apply. Access to documents may be restricted if they contain information exempted from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000. Some correspondence files are closed for specified periods for reasons of confidentiality.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in the published and unpublished writings of John Riley is owned by Cambridge University Library.


13 archive box(es) (13 boxes paper) : paper

Language of Materials



The papers have been arranged into the following ten series: 1. Poetry Composition Notebooks: Hardback Notebooks 2. Poetry Composition and General Notebooks: Softback Notebooks 3. Poetry and Prose Transcriptions 4. The Poems 5. The Prose 6. The Translations 7. Works by Others 8. Correspondence: Letters to John Riley 9. Correspondence: Letters to Tim Longville 10. Miscellaneous Papers

Much of Riley’s papers were deposited in original files or folders, some of which were labelled and others were unmarked. Papers held in original enclosures have been retained together, along with the original file if it carried a label. Papers found loose have been re-arranged into discrete files where the contents are related.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of John Riley’s literary papers were donated to Cambridge University Library, together with his copyrights, by his widow Carol Riley Brown in June 2013. The poems and letters from John Riley to Carol Riley Brown at MS Add.10038/8/38 were donated by her sister Maggie Robinson in May 2015.


No accruals anticipated.

Related Materials

Letters from John Riley can be found in the papers of Michael Grant (MS Add.10000), Michael Haslam (MS Add.10173), Jeremy Hilton (MS Add.10154) and Peter Riley (MS Add.10013).


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom