Find out how to search and access the personal papers of Robert Graves at St John's College

When Robert Graves’s widow Beryl Graves died in 2003, she bequeathed together with her late husband’s ‘working library’ the manuscripts, letters, and other materials still in Graves’s house in Deyá, Mallorca, to Oxford’s St John’s College. The collection has grown since then and it is now the largest and most varied collection of Robert Graves personal papers anywhere, holding over 15,000 Graves-related items.

The original collection of personal papers bequeathed by Beryl Graves consists largely of thousands of letters received by Robert Graves after he had returned to Deyá in the 1940s as well as some manuscripts of his literary work, his work as a literary critic and lecturer together with some diaries. To this have been added letters written by Robert Graves, most notably those to Margot Callas (Nichols).

Summary Index (PDF)

A summary index of the personal papers of Robert Graves can be downloaded here: Summary Index of Robert Graves Personal Papers

Online Finding Aids

The vast majority of Robert Graves’s personal papers held at St John’s College are recorded on the online archival database Archives Hub.

If you would like to browse the collection, go to at https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/data/gb473-rg. If you scroll down the landing page, you will get to a concise summary index with links.

If you already know what you are looking for, it is best to go to the Archives Hub homepage at https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/. Enter your search keywords (they should always include "Robert Graves"). Depending on the number of results, you can then either click directly on the relevant results or narrow down your search to “St John’s College Library, University of Oxford” under "Holding Depository" in the filter on the left-hand side of the screen.

In UK law the copyright usually remains with an ‘author’ (here used in the legal sense of the term) throughout their lifetime. After the author's death, the copyright is transferred to their heirs/ estate and remains valid for 70 years.

With regard to copyright matters in connection with the Personal Papers of Robert Graves at St John's College, please note that St John’s College is not the copyright holder of Robert Graves’s personal papers. The following copyright statement applies:

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system of any nature, or transmitted, in any form or by any means including photocopying and recording, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. It is your responsibility to ascertain the correct copyright owner and St John’s College do not accept any liability for any direct or indirect losses arising out of your use of the images you took yourself or provided to you by St John’s College. Licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency or any other reproduction rights organisation do not apply. If any unauthorised acts are carried out in relation to this copyright work, a civil claim for damages may be made and/or a criminal prosecution may result.

If you would like to consult the collection of Robert Graves’s personal papers, please use the Research Visit request form or email library@sjc.ox.ac.uk.