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Special Collections & Archives

Details about the three repositories held at the University of Roehampton: the main Foyle Special Collections & Archives, the Whitelands College Archive, and the Southlands College Archive

Richmal Crompton Collection

Richmal Crompton (1890 - 1969) is best known for the Just William stories which were written between 1919 – 1969. Deposited with the Archives and Special Collections by the author’s heirs and executors in 2008, this is one of the most comprehensive archive collections of an author’s life and work.

It comprises personal records such as correspondence and other documents relating to the private life of Richmal Crompton, including an extensive family photographic collection going back to the late 1800s.

This is complemented by a very eclectic private library of the author, of which many books are inscribed with her name and annotated by her.

Richmal Crompton first wrote Just William stories for ‘Happy Mag’; this developed into 39 books; in addition to that she published 49 books for adults. Her professional life as a writer, is documented through holdings of idea jottings for her stories, many finished and draft scripts for the book publications, radio plays which were transmitted from 1946, film and TV adaptations. The collection also holds correspondence with the publishers and fans, as well as many press cuttings from the 1950s to ca. 2010 related to the author or her creations.

Further, the Richmal Crompton Collection also holds the author’s published works, including adult fiction and all Just William stories in various publications and translations as well as Just William memorabilia including games, puzzles and other artefacts.

The collection is rounded up by personal items which notably includes Richmal Crompton’s desk, chair and typewriter, but artefacts such as spectacles.

All this gives a full and complete portrait of a woman’s life and career.



  • Richmal Crompton’s personal library;
  • Many editions and translations of the William stories;
  • A set of her novels for adult readers;
  • Bibliographical material;
  • Travel notebooks;
  • Notes of ideas for stories;
  • Scripts including short stories or radio plays;
  • Fan letters and drawings;
  • Correspondence;
  • Memorabilia and ephemera including Just William cups, theatre models, Richmal Crompton’s glasses or the author's desk.