The John Wyndham Archive

This page was updated on 11th May 2001.

The University of Liverpool Library, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has acquired the archive of novelist John Wyndham, author of The Day of The Triffids, and one of Britain's best-known science fiction writers.

This archive, one of the most important in the field joins other special collections in the University's Sydney Jones Library, including the Science Fiction Foundation Collection, and the Olaf Stapledon Archive. The archive consists of a virtually complete collection of manuscripts and typescripts (including unpublished works) and letters. As a record of one of the most important British writers of the 1950s, it is of major importance to researchers and students both of science fiction and British post-War writing.

Among the important items of this archive are:

Andy Sawyer, Librarian of the Science Fiction Foundation Collection at the University of Liverpool, says: "We hope that the acquistion of this archive will encourage literary and biographical studies of this popular but critically negelected writer: indeed, appointments for consultation are already being made. We are actively seeking further funding to preserve and develop this major new resource, and welcome donations from individuals and organisations with an interest in science fiction."

Click here for: "Return of the Triffids": A display of material from the John Wyndham Archive

John Wyndham (1903 - 1969) best known as the author of The Day of the Triffids was one of the few science fiction writers who crossed over into mass appeal due, perhaps, to the accuracy of his portrayal of British unease in the 1950s. His best-selling novels, often featuring traumatic disasters, remain in print and have frequently been adapted for radio and television. Recent BBC Radio 4 adaptations of The Kraken Wakes and Chocky, and the optioning of virtually the entire Wyndham catalogue by Samuelson Productions, the makers of Wilde, show that interest in the author remains strong. At least one biography is being planned.

The authorised sequel to The Day of the Triffids is to be be published in 7th June, 2001. To know more, click to the webpage of its author, Simon Clark

A display on the author and his work was on show at the University Gallery from 15 January - 26 February 1999. For more details, click: "Return of the Triffids": A display of material from the John Wyndham Archive

Foundation 74 contains an important article on an unpublished sf novel by Wyndham. Foundation 75 contains new biographical information about Wyndham, collating material written by his brother Vivian Beynon Harris, Foundation 76 contains a review of the new Penguin Modern Classics edition of The Day of the Triffids.

For details of Foundation and how to subscribe, click here .

Links to John Wyndham web pages

L. J. Hurst has two articles on Wyndham, originally published in the The British Science Fiction Association 's critical journal Vector.

  2. Remembrance of Things to Come? 1984 and Day of the Triffids Again

Maureen Kincaid Speller wonders what John Wyndham has to offer.

Scriptwriter Bernard Gordon describes his experiences "ghosting" the sub-plot of the 1963 movie The Day of the Triffids

We would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Friends of Liverpool University, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Iain M. Banks, the 1997 World Fantasy Convention, and many other individuals and groups in the sf world for their support.

We are seeking additional funds from interested organisations and individuals to help us develop this archive. Further information about the John Wyndham Archive is available from Andy Sawyer on 0151 794 2696, fax 1051 794 2681, or write to The Science Fiction Foundation Collection, University of Liverpool Library, P.O. Box 123, Liverpool L69 3DA, UK

The Science Fiction Foundation Collection

The Science Fiction Foundation Collection already holds papers from several major authors, including Stephen Baxter, John Brunner, Ramsey Campbell, R. Chetwynd-Hayes and Colin Greenland, . In addition, we already hold or administertwo small collections relating to Wyndham, including his presentation copies of translations of his books and published and unpublished manuscripts of his brother, Vivian Beynon Harris. Liverpool University's Special Collections and Archives, within which the Science Fiction Foundation Collection is held, also contains the archive of Olaf Stapledon, the influential author of Last and First Men, Star Maker etc, and the Eric Frank Russell Archive, as well as a collection of donated material from Brian W. Aldiss. Since 1993, Liverpool University has provided valuable support for the Foundation Collection, funding a librarian's post to administer it. In return, the Foundation Collection is central to the University's MA in Science Fiction Studies. Our recent history has shown how fruitful the relationship between the academic, professional, and fannish spheres can be in the preservation of this unique archive of science fiction and fantasy.

If you wish to donate or pledge money for the Wyndham appeal, please contact:

Andy Sawyer, Science Fiction Foundation Collection, University of Liverpool Library, P.O. Box 123, Liverpool L69 3DA, UK at the University of Liverpool

Click here to return to the Science Fiction Foundation Collection Home Page.