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Thomas Hardy archives will return to Dorset after a successful fundraising campaign

Thomas Hardy

Dorset Archives Trust (DAT) has started a campaign to raise the final £5,000 (of the total £50,000 cost) needed to bring Thomas Hardy archives back to Dorset.

The collection of important manuscript and printed material once owned by Dorset’s literary giant, Thomas Hardy, have been in private hands for decades and were being sold by a London dealer.

Following a fundraising appeal, the funds were raised within days, and a DAT spokesperson announced:

We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has contributed. All monies raised will go towards the purchase. It is hoped that the collection will soon be brought to Dorset History Centre where it can be viewed by all. Dorset Archives Trust would like to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Dorset Archives Trust spokesperson

The collection consists of 46 separate elements, including books which once formed part of Hardy’s own library at Max Gate including the schoolboy Hardy’s annotated copy of Horace and his personal edition of Pouncy’s ‘Dorsetshire Photographically Illustrated’

Letters from Hardy are also included with one giving a clear expression of the author’s interest in animal welfare. There is also a poem, penned by Hardy referring to the embarkation of soldiers for service in the Boer War. Included within the collection is Hardy’s typescript of the speech he delivered at the opening of Dorchester Grammar School in 1925.

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