Graphical version

University College London

Orwell Papers: domestic diaries


Reference code(s): GB 0103 ORWELL (F)

Held at: University College London

Title: Orwell Papers: domestic diaries

Date(s): 1938-1948

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 5 volumes

Name of creator(s): Blair | Eric Arthur | 1903-1950 | novelist and journalist known as George Orwell


Administrative/Biographical history:

Wrote books and novels, 1933-1949; reviewer of novels for the New English Weekly, until 1940; member of the Home Guard during World War Two; worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation Eastern Service, 1940-1943; Literary Editor of Tribune, 1943-1945; war correspondent for the Observer, 1945; regular contributor to the Manchester Evening News, 1943-1946; suffered from tuberculosis, often in hospital, 1947-1950. Publications include: Homage to Catalonia (Secker & Warburg, London, 1938); Coming up for air (Victor Gollancz, London, 1939); The lion and the unicorn (Secker & Warburg, London, 1941); Animal farm (Secker & Warburg, London, 1945); Critical essays (Secker & Warburg, London, 1946); The English people (Collins, London, 1947).


Scope and content/abstract:

Domestic diaries, 1938-1940, 1946-1948, of George Orwell, comprising five manuscript diaries, dated 1938-1939, 1939-1940, 1946-1947, 1947, and 1947-1948, some with a few newscuttings. The diaries cover the time Orwell spent in Gibraltar, Tangier and Marrakech, and later in London, Edinburgh and the island of Jura, Scotland, commenting on the weather, vegetation and day to day activities.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Draft handlist.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Most of the domestic diaries of George Orwell were presented in the 1960s on permanent loan by his widow on behalf of the George Orwell Archive Trust; the diary for 1947-1948 was purchased at auction in 1991.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: British Library on-line public access catalogue 1997; Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 1996). Compiled by Annabel Dodds as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Aug 2000

Diaries | Nonfiction | Prose | Literary forms and genres | Literature
Press cuttings | Newspaper press | Press
Travel abroad | Travel
Vegetation | Botany
Weather | Climatology
Writers | Authors
Primary documents

Personal names
Blair | Eric Arthur | 1903-1950 | novelist and journalist known as George Orwell x Orwell | George

Corporate names

Edinburgh | Midlothian | Scotland | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Gibraltar | Western Europe | Europe
Jura | Argyll | Scotland | UK | Western Europe | Europe
London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Marrakesh | Morocco | North Africa
Tangier | Morocco | North Africa