Oscar Wilde

About the Dalhousie Wilde Collection

The Dalhousie Oscar Wilde Collection was assembled by Henry Hicks, President of Dalhousie University from 1963 to 1980. He presented his Wilde collection of 305 volumes to the Dalhousie University Libraries in 1981. The collection includes strong holdings of first and limited signed editions of Wilde’s published works. Only five of Wilde’s first editions were not collected by Hicks. Later and variant Wilde editions, biographies, criticism, as well as first editions of writers and artists associated with Wilde – Max Beerbohm, Aubrey Beardsley, Alfred Douglas, Frank Harris – are well represented.

Collection Highlights

Highlights of the collection include the first edition of Poems (1892); an autographed first edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891); signed editions of An Ideal Husband (1899) and The Importance of Being Ernest (1899); first editions of the popular fables The Happy Prince (1888) and A House of Pomegranates (1891); a first edition of The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898); the beautifully illustrated 1904 edition of The Harlot’s House, the controversial edition of Salome (1894) illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley and a complete run of The Yellow Book (1894-1897) , the journal closely associated with Wilde.


The Dalhousie Oscar Wilde Collection provides researches with access to all the major works and many rarely collected editions of an influential Anglo-Irish writer and cultural critic.

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