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Mary Church Terrell Main Library
148 W College St. Oberlin, OH 44074-1545

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About the Collection

Terrell Special Collections' Dickens materials were acquired through various donations, the largest acquired in the 1980s and 1990s from J. Stanton McLaughlin, Prof. Frederick O. Grover, and Prof. Carl W. Schaefer.

Illustration used in the novel

An illustration from the novel "Dombey and Son"

Engraved steel plate used to print the illustration

The etched steel plate used to make the illustration.

There are currently 44 early examples of Dickens’ works, many of which are 1st editions in our holdings. The original serial nature of Dickens’ novels is represented in two ways: first, in 2 magazines, Household Words (1850-1859) and All the Year Round (1859-1868), both edited by Dickens and featuring regular installments of the novels, and second, in his "books in parts," which were separate shilling weekly installments of his serialized novels published independently.

Dickens’ novels also appeared in "triple decker" (3 volume) and single-volume formats, and there are 1st appearances of each of these formats in the collcetion. Included also are a complete set of the Christmas novels, an arts and crafts edition of The Holly Tree, edited collections of his correspondence, and a scholarly limited edition of the Works of Dickens. The novels are excellent fodder for exploring the evolution of printing format and the expanding, and varied demand for reading material in the 19th-century. Apart from the works actually written by Dickens, the collection also includes uncommon reference works regarding his novels. These additional materials almost double the size of the collection.

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