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Collection relating to James Tait Black Memorial Prize

Identifier: Coll-1270

Scope and Contents

At E2010.22 is an archive of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize retained by its first judge, Herbert Grierson, Professor of English Literature at Edinburgh University, comprising letters from prizewinners including D.H. Lawrence, Arnold Bennett, Lytton Strachey and Robert Graves. While most of the letters in the collection are solicitor's typed carbon letters (letters to the administrating solicitor Robert Welsh of Ayr), five are original letters to Herbert Grierson from winners: Henry Festing Jones, G. M. Trevelyan, the Rev. William Wilson, Geoffrey Scott, and the Rev. H. B. Workman.


  • Creation: 1920-1935


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but some material closed. Please contact repository for details about access to the collection in advance of any visit.

Biographical / Historical

The James Tait Black Memorial Prize was established by the will of Janet Coats (1844-1918), daughter of Thomas Coats, the Glasgow cotton manufacturer, in memory of her late husband, James Tait Black, whom she had married in 1884. James Tait Black (1826-1911) was son of Adam Black the Edinburgh publisher.

Two prizes were to be awarded a year, one for fiction and one for biography. Robert Welsh (1874-1960), Janet Coats/Black’s solicitor in Ayr, was the formal administrator; the sole judge was to be the Professor of English Literature at Edinburgh University.

Sir Herbert John Clifford Grierson (1866-1960) was Professor of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh between 1915 and 1935.


1 folder

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Item purchased June 2010. Accession no: E2010.22.

Processing Information

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.

Material relating to the James Tait Black Memorial Prize
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379