Papers of Herbert G. Wells, English novelist and essayist. Includes correspondence about business and legal affairs; letters to the press; engagement books; drawings; publication records; manuscripts and proofs of published works; speeches; unpublished material; and photographs. About forty full-length books, as well as many shorter pieces, are represented by typescripts or manuscripts, often in many drafts, which show the evolution of each work. Among these is an unpublished novel, "Kipps and Waddy," and early version of Wells' copies of his printed works. These include first editions, revisions, translations. The letters contain general family correspondence, communications, from publishers, material regarding the Fabian Society, and letters from politicians and public figures, most notably George Bernard Shaw and Joseph Conrad. Among the remaining items is the diary of Wells' mother, begun before his birth, Wells' letters and stories written as a youngster, collections of clippings from newspapers and magazines, account books of his contracts and earning, and other business records.
A catalog of correspondence, arranged alphabetically by correspondent, from and to Wells is published in Volume 11 of the Catalog of the Rare Book Room, University Library, University of Illinois (G. K. Hall & Co., Boston, 1972, 547 pp.) and in a supplement 1978 edition. The main collection was acquired in two parts, labelled WELLS-1 and WELLS-2. WELLS-1 consists of over 2,500 letters from Wells and 65,000 to Wells. WELLS-2, a major collection added in 1990, supplements the extensive book collection from Wells' personal library, personal and business correspondence, and criticism. Wells-3 is the Kennard Collection which includes correspondence between H.G. Wells and Annajane Kennard and Amber Reeves. Wells-9 is a collection of supplementary items purchased separately, on an ongoing basis.