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Home >> Edward Gorey Personal Library

Gorey IllustrationThe Edward Gorey Personal Library collection at San Diego State University library comprises over 21,000 books. These are the actual books that Edward St. John Gorey (1924-2000) collected in his lifetime.

5,437 titles are cataloged now. You may check back here for updates to this number as cataloging proceeds.

To search for Gorey's personal library books in the SDSU collection, go to the library  catalog at http://libpac.sdsu.edu. Type in "Edward Gorey Personal Library" as a word search to call up a list of books cataloged to date. If you find a book you would like to use, write down the call number and contact Linda Salem at lsalem@mail.sdsu.edu, or at 619-594-5148.  If Linda Salem is not available, please contact Special Collections and University Archives at askscua@mail.sdsu.edu, or at 619-594-6791 or visit their service desk on the 4th floor of the Library Addition.
Books may only be viewed in the Special Collections area. Although we will do our best to fulfill requests as soon as possible, this collection is still being processed and this may create a delay in retrieval of materials. Thank you for your patience.

Who Was Edward Gorey?

Newly Cataloged Books

An American artist, Edward St. John Gorey published over one hundred books, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest and The Wuggly Ump and many of his illustrations have appeared in publications like The New Yorker and The New York Times. His illustrations also appear in editions of works of Charles Dickens, Edward Lear, Samuel Beckett, John Updike, Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells, Florence Heide and Peter Neumeyer.

The Gorey Background at SDSU Library

The Edward Gorey Personal Library (EGPL) at San Diego State University came to the library's special collections in 2009. The SDSU library - Edward Gorey story is an interesting one and begins with the collaboration of Professor Emeritus Peter Neumeyer, the founder of the Children's Literature Program at San Diego State University, with Edward Gorey in the 1960s and 1970s. Neumeyer co-authored a number of books with Gorey, including Why We Have Day and Night (1970), Donald and the... (1969) and Donald Has a Difficulty (1970).  In 2011, Neumeyer documents his friendship with Gorey in his book  Floating Worlds. The Letters of Edward Gorey & Peter F. Neumeyer.  This published correspondence of the two men during the years they worked together includes reproductions of original envelope art by Gorey.

SDSU Notable Alumnus and book collector Andreas Brown was instrumental in developing the SDSU Library's Gorey holdings into a unique collection on the West Coast.  Brown is the former owner of New York City's Gotham Book Mart and was a friend of Gorey. A talk given by Andreas Brown is available for you to listen to here.

More about the Collection....

Edward Gorey surrounded himself with books at his house in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. These lists give examples of the subjects and the authors he collected and read. 

Major Subjects Collected
African art, art, art history, ballet, biography, British novels, children’s literature, detective fiction, fiction, general literature, games, garden, gothic literature, history, hymns, illustration, India Japan, mystery, poetry, France and culture, France and history, French literature and novels, 

Predominant Authors and Artists Collected
Jacob Abbott; J.R. Ackerly; Harold Acton; Louisa May Alcott; Hans Christian Andersen; Victor Appleton; Gillian Avery; Helen Bannerman; Djuna Barnes; Nina Bawden; Arnold Bennett;  E.F. Benson; James Blish; Guy Boothby; Lucy M. Boston; Charlotte Bronte; Wilhelm Busch, Randalf Caldecott; Italo Calvino; Lewis Carroll; Willa Cather;  Agatha Christie; Wilkie Collins; Maurice Stewart Collis; Water Crane; Franklin W. Dixon;  Theodore Dreiser; Maria Edgeworth; Juliana Horatia Ewing;  Eleanor Farjeon; J.S. Fletcher; Ronald Fraser; David Garnett; Stella Gibbons; Michael Francis Gilbert;  George Gissing; Rumer Godden; Kenneth Grahame;  Grahame Greene; Donald Hamilton; Patrick Hamilton;  L.P. Hartley; Herge; Inez Haynes Irwin; Erich Kastner; Carolyn Keene; Andrew Lang; Edward Lear; William LeQueux; Gason LeRoux; E.V. Lucas; Walter de la Mare; Louis Marlow; Richard Marsh; William Mayne; Herman Melville (sets); Leonard Merrick; Mrs. Molesworth; M. Pardoe; Eden Phillpotts; Beatrix Potter Anthony Powell; John Rhodes; Edward and Vita Sackville-West; Walter Scott; Mary Sinclair; Robert Lewis Stevenson; Margaret Sutton; Sylvia Townsend Warner;  Anthony Trollope; Henry Williamson; E. H. Young.

Background Resources

 The Edward Gorey House - Gorey kept much of his personal  library here during his lifetime. Now Gorey House is a  museum.

Goreyography, a graphical galleria of gratuitous Gorey by Glen Emil

Goreyanna - A blog celebrating the works of Edward Gorey posted by Ampootozote .http://goreyana.blogspot.com/

About the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.

Personal LIbrary Work in Progress

Thousands of books in this collection are available to researchers and thousands more await cataloging. Check back here for updates and news about the contents of this intriguing collection.

Inquiries and Donations

For inquiries about this collection, please contact L. Salem, curator for the Edward Gorey Personal Library at lsalem@mail.sdsu.edu or call 619-594-5148.