Records of George Allen & Unwin Ltd

The publishing firm of George Allen & Sons was founded in 1871. In 1914, after financial difficulties, an interest was acquired by Stanley Unwin and the firm became known as George Allen & Unwin.

The bulk of the collection consists of around 1300 boxes of correspondence, covering the period 1914-1968 and containing letters from authors, agents, publishers, booksellers, individual book buyers, tax collectors, binders, paper suppliers, advertisers, printers etc. There are other business papers from 1914–1983, such as publishing journals and ledgers, volumes recording payments to authors, records of stock figures, reader's fees, advertising costs, insurance, warehousing etc.

In addition, there some records from associated or subsidiary companies: George Allen & Co., Swan Sonnenschein, Elkin Mathews and Marrot, Bemrose & Sons.

A reader's report by T.E. Lawrence on the manuscript The legend of Lijman by H.StJ.B. Philby was our featured item in April 2006.

More information

  • All the reader's reports and correspondence files (around 35,000 files) are individually catalogued on our online database
  • A handlist of the ledgers and other bound volumes is available at the Special Collections Service or to download as a PDF (3.88MB)
  • A full description is available from our online database
  • Brian Ryder, 'The George Allen & Unwin Collection, Reading University Library' in Publishing history v. 47 (2000), p.67-78
  • Manuscript number MS 3282
literature, publishing history correspondence, business records Y allen and unwin

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