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Tennyson Research Centre

The Tennyson Research Centre (TRC) was established in Lincoln in 1963. The Research Centre is one of the three major collections of Tennyson archival material in the world. The two others, at Trinity College, Cambridge and the Houghton Library, Harvard University, comprise primarily poetical manuscripts whereas the TRC has a much broader and more varied collection.

Highlights include: –

  • Poetical manuscripts including the most complete manuscript of In Memoriam and manuscripts and proofs of ‘The Charge of  the Light Brigade.’
  • Approximately 17,000 pages of proofs of Tennyson’s poems by far the largest collection of proofs of Tennyson’s poems in the world.
  • Artwork, illustrations, photography relating to Tennyson and his work including works by J.E. Millais, D.G. Rossetti, Gustave Doré, Julia Margaret Cameron and John Mayall.
  • Approximately 9,000 letters to and from Tennyson, correspondents include: Robert Browning, Edward Burne-Jones, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, W.E. Gladstone, T.H Huxley, Leigh Hunt, William Holman Hunt, Henry Irving, Benjamin Jowett, Charles Kingsley, Samuel Laurence, Edward Lear, G.H. Lewis, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, F.D. Maurice, George Meredith, Sir John Everett Millais, Friedrich Max Muller, John Henry Newman, Coventry Patmore, D.G. Rossetti, John Ruskin, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Sullivan, A.C. Swinburne, Walt Whitman, Thomas Woolner, G.F. Watts, and Queen Victoria.
  • Tennyson’s library (including Tennyson’s marginalia) and the libraries G. C. Tennyson (father) Charles Turner (brother) and Hallam Tennyson (son).
  • Documents relating to Tennyson’s publishing history, especially Tennyson’s agreements with Edward Moxon
  • A rich and varied collection of manuscript notebooks, journals and diaries by Tennyson and members of his family.

The TRC has an active acquisition policy. Recent additions include a rare illustrated edition of The Princess (1851) and an 1884 letter from Queen Victoria to Tennyson, telling him of her grief at the recent death of her son Leopold.

Below you can watch Dr Jim Cheshire, (Reader in Cultural History, University of Lincoln), discusses the wider context of his presentation, ‘Tennyson, Photography, and Portaiture 1857-92’, delivered at the Understanding British Portraits Annual Seminar 2017