Australian Literature ‑ S. E. Sprott Collection


About the S. E. Sprott Australian Literature Collection

Collected  and donated to the Dalhousie university libraries by Dr. S.E. Sprott, a long serving Australian born professor in the Dalhousie Department of English,  the comprehensive collection consists of approximately 5,000 volumes. While primary a collection of literary works in all genres, it also provides contextual resources in the form of literary histories, criticism, memoirs, essays, biographies, art books and bibliographies. The collection of Australian classics, poetry, popular fiction , drama, children’s books, humour and literary anthologies, annuals and periodicals  from the later nineteenth century to the present was carefully assembled to provide researchers with the opportunity to acquire an in-depth appreciation for the development of Australian literature in the twentieth century.

Collection Highlights

Significant items include the signed first editions of many long out-of-print titles; association works from the private collection of the noted editor, George Mackaness; works by and about poet Kenneth Slessor; strong collections of novels by Miles Franklin and poetry by Judith Wright; and the complete files of rare poetry journals. The number of variant editions and the retention of the many artful dust jackets provide useful added dimensions to the study of Australian literature.


The depth and coherence of the Dalhousie collection will enable Australian literature to be studied and appreciated as a complex body of writing. Canadian literary scholars now have available to them a collection that will support major comparative literature studies and the emergence of a strong and vital national literary tradition that parallels and offers insights into the Canadian experience.

More from Vessels of Light: A Guide to Special Collections in the Killam Libraryby Karen E. M. Smith.