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Finding Aid for the Lord Alfred Douglas Collection 1890-1951 MS.Douglas
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material

  • Title: Lord Alfred Douglas Collection,
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.Douglas
    Contributing Institution: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.5 Linear feet 4 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1890-1951
    Abstract: Correspondence, manuscript items (such as poems), photographs, and other miscellaneous documents related to Lord Alfred Douglas taken from the larger Oscar Wilde collection.
    Physical location: Clark Library
    Creator: Douglas, Alfred Bruce, Lord, 1870-1945


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Clark Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lord Alfred Douglas Collection, MS Douglas, [or Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle Collection, MS. Wilde, as appropriate], William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Acquisition Information

    William Andrews Clark, Jr. acquired the nucleus of the Clark Library's Oscar Wilde collection from Dulau and Company, London, in 1929. Most of the Dulau material had been in the possession of Robert B. Ross (Oscar Wilde's literary executor), Christopher S. Millard (a.k.a. Stuart Mason, the Wilde bibliographer), and Vyvyan B. Holland (Wilde's only surviving son). Since 1929, the Clark Library has steadily purchased important new material and in the year 2000, the collection was estimated to contain over 65,000 items.

    Processing History

    This finding aid was compiled by extracting pieces from the larger Oscar Wilde collection finding aids and by adding uncataloged material by Jamie Henricks in May, 2010.


    Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas was born October 22, 1870 near Worcester, England; his father was the ninth marquess of Queensberry. His mother nicknamed him Bosie at a young age, and Douglas is often referred to by this name. He attended private schools, Winchester College, and eventually ended at Magdalen College in Oxford. He did not receive a degree from Magdalen, but wrote for various college publications.
    Douglas was introduced to Oscar Wilde in 1891, and they became involved in a long relationship. In 1895, Douglas encouraged Wilde to sue the marquess of Queensberry for libel. However, Wilde was instead prosecuted and forced to spend two years in jail. Douglas attempted to petition the Queen of England to have Wilde released, but was unsuccessful. After Wilde's sentence was completed, he and Douglas traveled together for while. He often supported Wilde financially, as well.
    Douglas later eloped with Olive Eleanor Custance and was married to her for 10 years before they separated. He had a son, Raymond, born 1902. Both Olive and Douglas were talented poets and writers. Douglas was involved with a fair number of other lawsuits, included libel against his father-in-law and Robert Ross, and even a lawsuit with Winston Churchill. The latter of the suits landed Douglas in jail for six months. Approximately 20 years later, Douglas died in Lancing on March 20, 1945 and was buried in Sussex.

    Scope and Content

    This collection was artificially created by bringing together items related to Lord Alfred Douglas from within the Clark Library's Oscar Wilde Collection. It includes letters, photographs of Douglas and his friends, poems and other manuscripts, and other miscellaneous items.
    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Correspondence from Douglas to Acquaintences, 1890-1944
    • Series 2. Correspondence to Douglas from Acquaintences, 1892-1938
    • Series 3. Manuscripts, 1895-1933
    • Series 4. Portraits and Photographs, 1892-1897
    • Series 5. Miscellaneous, 1898-1951

    Related Material

    The Clark Library holds collections relating to or created by contemporaries of Lord Alfred Douglas, including Oscar Wilde and their circle of friends. The information in this finding aid was taken from other finding aids held by the Clark Library:

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Letters--England--19th century
    Letters--England--20th century