The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Fiction

The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Fiction numbers over a thousand titles. Focusing on English writers and imprints, it is unique in its coverage of minor authors writing in this genre and in its holdings of original and subsequent editions of their works. Although its holdings consist mainly of English imprints issued from 1765 to 1830, it also contains American, French, and German editions dating from this time period. While known primarily as the product of the bibliographer and book collector Michael Sadleir, the Sadleir-Black Collection owes its strength to three individuals. Sadleir created the collection and established its parameters. The estate of his close friend Arthur Hutchinson supplied whole runs of titles, and Robert Kerr Black added the better known titles and authors after purchasing the collection in 1937. Black gave the collection to the University of Virginia Library in 1942. Upon his death in 1975, he left the University Library a small legacy to purchase additional books for the collection.

Since receiving the Sadleir-Black Collection, the Special Collections Department has added appropriate titles to its holdings through purchase and by gift, thus ensuring that the Sadleir-Black Collection remains one of the strongest collections of its type in America. Because of its breadth and depth, the Sadleir-Black Collection serves as an important research source to the University community and to scholars throughout the world. As such an essential resource, it continues to be a monument to the principals who built it.

The most current and complete description of the Sadleir-Black Collection is Gothic Gold: The Sadleir-Black Gothic Collection by Frederick S. Frank. Originally published in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (vol.26, pp.287-[312], © 1998 by The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies), the article is reproduced here by permission of the author and The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

A portion of the collection has been microfilmed by Adam Matthew Publications. Please refer to the publisher’s online catalog for details.