University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Collection Summary

Creator: Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge, 1832-1898
Title: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson Collection
Dates: 1850-1971
Abstract: The Charles Lutwidge Dodgson Collection embraces manuscripts, sketches and watercolors, correspondence, and scrapbooks representing the career of Dodgson as well as reflections upon and interest in that unique career both during and after his lifetime. The material, largely derived from the collection of Warren Weaver, is arranged in two series: Series I. Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge, 1850-1897, and Series II. Dodgson-Related Materials, 1864-1971.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-01183
Extent: 4 boxes (1.68 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Charles Lutwidge Dodson was born in England at the rectory at Daresbury, Cheshire, to Charles Dodgson, an Anglican clergyman, and his wife Frances Jane Lutwidge on 27 January 1832. In 1851, Dodgson matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, and in 1855 was appointed to a mathematical lectureship in that college, of which he remained a member for the rest of his life.

A lifelong interest in writing, combined with a predisposition for story telling, word play, and games, led to a unique literary career in which his novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) achieved an instant and enduring popularity. It was followed in 1872 by a sequel Through the Looking-glass and, in 1874, by The Hunting of the Snark, an extended work in nonsense verse. These and other literary works were published under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll; Dodgson published a number of works in mathematics and logic under his birthname.

With a relatively small body of imaginative work Dodgson managed to coin words and usages and create memorable, if eccentric, characters whose enduring acceptance gained for his oeuvre a level of recognition rivalling the works of Shakespeare and Dickens in the English-speaking world. In addition to his work as an educator and imaginative writer Dodgson pursued an additional career as a notable amateur photographer in the two decades beginning about 1860.

Dodgson died in the home of his sisters at Guilford, Surrey, on 14 January 1898.

Scope and Contents

The Charles Lutwidge Dodgson Collection embraces manuscripts, sketches and watercolors, correspondence, and scrapbooks representing the career of Dodgson as well as reflections upon and interest in that unique career both during and after his lifetime. The material, largely derived from the collection of Warren Weaver, is arranged in two series: Series I. Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge, 1850-1897, and Series II. Dodgson-Related Materials, 1864-1971.

The namesake first series, running to slightly more than one box, consists of two subseries, the first comprising Dodgson's professional and literary works, the second his outgoing letters. Subseries A. Works, 1850-1897, includes puzzles, verse, and sketches created for the amusement of Dodgson's friends, young (mostly) and otherwise, along with problems in logic and mathematics, and proofs for books or periodical articles.

The most important--and the earliest--work present is the author's Rectory magazine of 1850, "a compendium of the best tales, poems, essays, pictures &c that the talents of the Rectory inhabitants can produce." This manuscript was created in the main by Dodgson in his eighteenth year for the amusement of his younger siblings in the Croft rectory where the family had moved from Daresbury in 1843. It is one of four such efforts known to exist today.

Subseries B. Outgoing Letters, 1860-1897, contains a fair representation of Dodgson's extensive correspondence, including letters to family, Oxford colleagues, editors, child friends and their parents, and his Eastbourne landlady, Mrs. Benjamin Dyer.

Most of the correspondents are represented by only a letter or two from Dodgson, but for a few of his child friends and their families, several letters are found in the collection. Concerning the Henderson children Annie and Frances there are ten letters to their mother. Among the six letters to Agnes "Dolly" Argles is one in a microscopic hand signed by "Sylvie." Nine letters addressed to Edith Headland Stevens are present, along with four to her daughter Enid, one of which is typewritten and signed "Lewis Carroll." Individual letters to Janet Merriman and her father Dr. Henry Gordon Merriman are accompanied by six of Dodgson's photographic prints of Dr. Merriman, Janet, and her brother Harry.

The second series, Dodgson-Related Materials, 1864-1971, runs to nearly three boxes and contains Alice in translation, Alice-based artwork, correspondence, scrapbooks, and other materials. These materials largely originated in the extensive collection of Carrolliana assembled by Warren Weaver, a mathematician, computer pioneer, translation theorist, and long-time officer of the Rockefeller Foundation. Nothing contained in this series is directly attributable to Dodgson but virtually all of it was inspired by his life and work in some way.

The group of Alice extracts in various languages along with Anna Grusova's academic thesis on translating English-language children's literature into Czech touch not only upon the career of Dodgson but also upon that of Weaver. Weaver's career as a collector is further documented by a folder of correspondence with various scholars and collectors spanning nearly forty years, and two scrapbooks of clippings and ephemera, and a few more pieces of correspondence.

A number of pieces of original art are present in the series, those by Besché and Hargrave being Alice-themed designs created between 1886 and 1908; the architectural studies by Henry George Liddell date from a generation earlier. Among the third-party correspondence are found six letters from John Tenniel to A. W. Mackenzie written between 1868 and 1899, the last two of which touch upon Dodgson and his (and Tenniel's) most memorable character.

The parenthetical notations in the following container list--e.g. HRC 618--are citations to full bibliographical descriptions found in the Ransom Center's 1985 catalog Lewis Carroll at Texas.



Open for research

Index Terms

Fison, Frederick W. (Frederick William), 1847-1927
Lennon, Florence Becker
Liddell, Henry George, 1811-1898
Madan, Falconer, 1851-1935
Parrish, Morris Longstreth, 1867-1944
Probert, William Geoffrey Cardawine
Tenniel, John, Sir, 1820-1914
Williams, Sidney Herbert
Argles, Agnes Beatrice Jane
Dyer, Benjamin, Mrs.
Henderson, Annie Wood Gray
Stevens, Edith Headland
Great Britain--Intellectual life--19th century Oxford (England) University of Oxford
Document Types

Related Material

Other Charles Lutwidge Dodgson materials are located at the Ransom Center in the Book and Periodical Collections, the Byron W. and Susan R. Sewell Collection of Lewis Carroll, the Edgar Allan Poe Collection, the Art Collection, the Photography Collection, and the Vertical File Collection. The Book and Periodical Collections have extensive holdings of the printed works of Dodgson, in addition to the major holdings represented by the Sewell and Weaver book collections. The Ransom Center's Lewis Carroll Centenary Exhibition of 1999 is available in an online version at

Administrative Information


Purchase, 1969

Processed by:

Bob Taylor, 2009


Cohen, Morton N. Lewis Carroll, a Biography. New York: Knopf, 1995.

Lennon, Florence Becker. The Life of Lewis Carroll. New York: Dover, 1972.

Container List

Series I. Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge, 1850-1897

Subseries A. Works, 1850-1897
1.1 Beatrice, handwritten syzygy, 6 October 1891 (HRC 513)
* "Brief method of dividing a given number," two galley proofs, [1897] (HRC 535) [*removed to galley files]
1.1 A day in the country, an acrostic ballad, handwritten, 1866 (HRC 617)
"Divisibility by seven"
1.1 Handwritten notes, in part probably by Archdeacon Charles Dodgson (HRC 618)
Proof, [1885] (HRC 456)
1.2 Untitled drawing of a boy boxing with a cat (HRC 634)
Untitled drawing of a young girl, seated (HRC 635)
Untitled drawing of a young girl with wings, holding a cat (HRC 636)
Untitled series of 12 drawings to illustrate a story told by Dodgson, [1871] (HRC 637)
Feeding the lamb (HRC 638)
The foolish miller (HRC 639)
Helen Cowie, 28 September 1880, chromograph reproduction by Dodgson (HRC 640)
The old lady of Holland Park and her grand-daughter (HRC 641)
Ruth and Tommy, the Dymes children in two chromograph reproductions by Dodgson, 29 August 1879 (HRC 642)
1.1 Memoria Technica for Numbers, handwritten notes, (HRC 607)
"Mischmasch, a word-game for two players," galley proof, [1882?] (HRC 429)
"New method of scoring," proof, [1880] (HRC 417)
1.3 The Rectory magazine ... fifth edition, carefully revised, & improved, handwritten, 1850 (HRC 627)
1.4 A Russian's day in England, handwritten verse, 13 November 1874 (HRC 629)
* "Simple facts about circle-squaring," two galley proofs on one sheet with handwritten revisions (HRC 630) [*removed to oversize files]
1.1 Symbolic Logic, page proofs of signature B, 1896 edition
Upon the lonely moor ... being the original version of "The aged aged man" with an introduction by Randolph Edgar; Edgar's typescript presentation copy to James F. Drake, 12 February 1929
1.6 HRC 608. 'No mind! the little maiden cried,' handwritten poem for Janet Merriman, [1870]; with original envelope and with added photograph of Merriman (HRC 1078)
1.5 HRC 609. 'Once upon a time some sailors ...,' handwritten verse
HRC 610. 'Four friends are in a room ...,' handwritten probability problem, 11 December 1889
HRC 611. 'A clock known to lose 2h 5m a day ...,' handwritten problem, 7 April 1888
HRC 613. 'The product of any n consecutive numbers ...,' handwritten problem, probably by Archdeacon Charles Dodgson
HRC 614. 'To double down part of a given triangle ...,' handwritten problem, 22 March 1889
HRC 619. 'Long multiplication done in one line,' handwritten, 19 September 1879
HRC 622. 'Problem ... thought out Mar./85,' handwritten
HRC 623. 'Problem. Given 2 fractions ... to find one between them ... May 2/82,' handwritten
HRC 624. 'Prop[ositio]n. If the odd numbers in succession ...,' handwritten, probably by Archdeacon Charles Dodgson
HRC 625. 'Problem, 2nd way ... Dec. 2/65,' handwritten
HRC 626. 'Problem. To find a pt., through wh. if chords be drawn ...,' handwritten, probably by Archdeacon Charles Dodgson
HRC 631. '64 = 65,' handwritten puzzle, four pieces of lined paper in envelope
Subseries B. Outgoing Letters, 1860-1897
1.7 Unidentified recipient [possibly Leopold, Duke of Albany], 30 May (HRC 644)
Unidentified recipient, 31 May 1883 (HRC 645)
1.8 Argles, Agnes Beatrice Jane, 28 November 1867; 4 December 1867; spring 1868?; 22 April 1868; 10 December 1870; 17 January 1879 (HRC 646)
1.7 Argles, Edith Margaret, 29 April 1868 (HRC 647)
Bayne, Thomas Vere, 3 May 1880 (electric pen form letter, HRC 650)
Clarke, James Langton, 4 December 1882; 10 February 1888 (HRC 651)
Commin, James G., 3 September 1896 (HRC 652)
Dale, Robert William, 3 March 1892 (HRC 653)
Dodgson, Edith Alice, 4 January 1891 (HRC 654)
Dodgson, Louisa Fletcher, 13 November 1896 (HRC 656)
du Maurier, George, 17 December 1873; 28 January 1874 (HRC 657)
Dyer, Benjamin, Mrs., 22 July 1883; 29 July 1883; 7 December 1883; 31 December 1890; 13 November 1893; 7 June 1897 (HRC 658, 659, 660)
Dymes, Margaret Henrietta, December 1885 (HRC 661)
Earle, Beatrice Anne, 14 June 1891 (HRC 662)
1.9 Fison, Frederick William, 19 December 1893 (HRC 664)
Forshall, Frances Mary, 4 February 1878; 24 December 1883; 28 December 1883 (HRC 665)
1.10 Henderson, Annie Wood Gray, 20 July 1879; 5 January 1880; 31 May 1880; 30 June 1880; 7 July 1880; 14 July 1880; 26 May [1881?]; 21 June 1881; 30 June [1881]; 1 July 1881 (HRC 666)
1.9 Hill, ____, 2 October 1860 (HRC 667)
Hull, Agnes Georgina, Christmas 1882 (HRC 668)
Hull, Jessie Madeline, Christmas 1882 (HRC 669)
Hunter, Sarah Agnes Matilda Anderson, 10 March 1889; 13 August 1891 (HRC 670)
Lady (periodical), 31 July 1891 (HRC 671)
Langbridge, Rosamond Grant, 14 July 1897 (HRC 672)
2.1 Merriman, Henry Gordon, 13 May 1887 (HRC 674), with photographs of Dr. Merriman (HRC 1080 and HRC 1081) and of his daughter Janet Gertrude (HRC 1079) bound in; an additional image of Janet (HRC 1077) inscribed "for Dr. & Mrs. Merriman" is laid in
2.2 Merriman, Janet Gertrude, 17 December 1870 (HRC 675), with envelope and photographs of Janet (HRC 1075) and of her brother Harry Mowbray (HRC 1076) bound in
1.9 Powell, Frederick York, 17 February 1883 (HRC 676)
Raikes, Alice Theodora, 4 April 1893 (HRC 677)
Riadore, Marion Ethel and Gwendolen Jemima, 10 October 1885 (HRC 678)
Rix, Jemima Bostock Bradley, 29 January 1887 (HRC 462)
Sadler, Michael Ernest, Sir, 16 June 1886; 13 February 1887 (HRC 681, HRC 682)
Schuster, Winifred Elaine, 20 March 1896; 23 April 1896 (?)
Scott, Clement William, 15 May 1892 (HRC 684)
Scott, Robert, 27 February 1872 (encloses Hassard Dodgson's Latin translation of "Jabberwocky" in C. L. Dodgson's hand) (HRC 673)
The Shotover Papers (periodical), 8 May 1875 (HRC 686)
Sinclair, ____, Mrs., 13 February 1878; 24 April 1878; 22 March 1879 (?)
2.3 The Sketch (periodical), 17 April 1894; 21 April 1894; 17 May 1894; bound in a volume containing articles and other printed matter relating to Carroll, and with his handwritten copy of Wilfred Longley Dodgson's poem "A better gift," which appeared in the 16 May 1894 issue of the journal (HRC 687)
2.4 Stevens, Edith Headland, 16 December 1888; 28 February 1891; 5 May 1892; 6 May 1892; 1 June 1892; 4 June 1892; 20 October 1892; 14 April 1893; 3 July 1893 (HRC 689, HRC 690)
1.9 Stevens, Enid Gertrude, 17 November 1890; 7 April 1891; 24 Nov. 1895; 19 March 1896 (HRC 691)
Telling, James, 4 March 1892 (HRC 693)

Series II. Dodgson-Related Materials, 1864-1971

Alice translations, 1956-1971
2.5 Kikuyu, by Ruth Munge
Pidgin English, by Margaret Mead
Romansch, by Annamengia von Albertini-Bisaz
Swahili, by E. V. St. Lo Conan-Davies
Schwyzerdütsch, by G. V. Stolper
Umbundu, by Lois L. Dille
2.7 Besché, Lucien. Three ink and watercolor designs for Alice in Wonderland, a Musical Dream Play, 1886
2.8 Dymes, Ruth H. Handwritten note dated 29 June 1929 concerning her relationship with Lewis Carroll, together with two tickets to the Lewis Carroll Centenary Exhibition, 1932, one of which is made out to T. A. Dymes
2.9 Fulleylove, Margery Dudeny. Double-crostic based on Alice in Wonderland
2.10 Grusova, Anna. Nekteré problemy prekládání anglické detské literatury do cestiny (Lewis Carroll, A. A. Milne), diplomní práce, carbon typescript, 1964
2.11 Hargrave, John. Two ink and watercolor designs for Alice in Wonderland, 1908
2.12 Kitchin, George W. Collection relating to Carroll and Oxford, comprising three ink architectural sketches and a fragmentary letter by Henry George Liddell, along with a handwritten letter to Kitchin from King Frederik VIII of Denmark, writing as the crown prince, Copenhagen, 1 March 1864
Third-party correspondence, 1868-1966
2.13 Letters I. Various correspondents, 1881-1966
2.14 Miscellaneous I. W. G. C. Probert to Falconer Madan, eleven handwritten letters, 1931-1932; accompanied by Col. Probert's card and notes by Madan
3.1 Miscellaneous II. John Tenniel to A. W. Mackenzie, six handwritten letters, 1868-1899
Weaver, Warren
3.2 Correspondence, 1932-1969
3.3 Quarto, 1932-1946, containing clippings, along with correspondence and some art work
4.1 Folio, 1906-1949, with clippings, correspondence, and ephemera
3.4 Article on classical syllogism, typed and carbon typescript, two copies
Handwritten notes on Carroll's Eight or Nine Wise Words
3.5 Wilson, Doris M., ed. Alice in Wonderland, program for pageant at the College of Wooster, 13 May 1939, with mimeograph pageant script and photographs added; presented to Warren Weaver by Robert E. Wilson
3.6 Unidentified author. Lewis Carroll's Humpty Dumpty, an identification, carbon typescript

Index of Correspondents

Most of the letters indexed below were written to Warren Weaver; the one addressed to Dodgson is specified

  • Adams, Franklin P. (Franklin Pierce), 1881-1960--4.1
  • Anderson, Florence--3.2
  • Barrett, R. G. L.--3.2
  • Berol, Alfred C., 1892- --3.3
  • Blackwell, Basil, Sir, 1889- (B.H. Blackwell Ltd.)--3.2
  • Boles, John (Princeton University Press)--3.2
  • Case, Josephine Young, 1907-1990--3.2
  • Chapman, Anna Maria--3.2
  • Conan Davies, E. V. St. Lo--3.2
  • Covill, Erna B.--3.2
  • Dille, Lois Lawson--3.2
  • Dodgson, C. H. W.--4.1
  • Dodgson, Frances Menella, 1877-1963--4.1
  • Dohm, Janice H.--3.2
  • Ffoulkes, Dorothy A.--4.1
  • Field, Richard M. (Richard Montgomery), b. 1885 (American Institute of Geonomy and Natural Resources)--3.2
  • Fison, Frederick W. (Frederick William), 1847-1927--2.13 (one letter to C. L. Dodgson)
  • Forman, Maurice Buxton--2.13
  • Frank Hollings (Firm)--3.2
  • Frederik VIII, King of Denmark, 1843-1912--2.12
  • Gaffney, Wilbur G. (University of Nebraska)--3.2
  • Goldsmith, Alfred F.--3.3, 4.1
  • Goodman, Henry A. (Council for the Advancement of Science Writing)--3.2
  • Hailsham of St. Marylebone, Quintin Hogg, Baron, 1907- --2.13
  • Harrison, Constance Cary, 1843-1920--2.13
  • Harrod, Roy, 1900-1978--3.2
  • Hopkinson, Cecil--3.3, 4.1
  • Houghton, Arthur Amory, 1906-1990--3.2
  • Hudson, Derek--3.2
  • Iglauer, Edith--3.2
  • Lennon, Florence Becker--3.2, 4.1
  • Library of the Union Club (Frederick William Kobbé)--4.1
  • Liddell, Henry George, 1811-1898--2.12
  • Lynn, Hilda B.--3.2
  • Madan, Falconer, 1851-1935--3.3, 4.1
  • Marevisch, I. de--4.1
  • Marx, Stanley--3.2
  • Moeller, Knud Max (Carlsberg Laboratorium)--3.2
  • Montgomery, Lall G. (Ball Memorial Hospital)--3.2
  • Parisot, Henri (Éditions Robert Marin)--3.2
  • Parrish, Morris Longstreth, 1867-1944--3.3, 4.1
  • Perkins, Paula--3.2
  • Probert, William Geoffrey Carwardine--2.14
  • Routledge, Edmund, 1843-1899--2.13
  • Sinclair, ____--3.2
  • Tenniel, John, Sir, 1820-1914--3.1
  • Tillstrom, Burr--3.2
  • Walter T. Spencer (Firm)--3.2
  • Widener Memorial Library (Flora V. Livingston)--4.1
  • Williams, Sidney Herbert (Lewis Carroll Exhibition)--3.2-3, 4.1
  • Wolf, Eric R., 1923- --4.1
  • Wood, James Playsted, 1905- --3.2
  • Unidentified
    • ______, Christine--4.1
    • ______, Paul (Department of Music, Cornell University)--4.1