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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Library secures Coleridge archive
The virtually unknown poem To The Rev WJ Hort is included in the archive

A huge archive of papers relating to romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge has been bought by the British Library.

The papers include diaries, letters and records about the poet - best known for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan.

Highlights of the collection include one unknown Coleridge manuscript, "significant copies" of his verse, and recollections of him by family members.

"It is an exceptionally rich source," said a British Library representative.

Together with his friend William Wordsworth, Coleridge was a founder of the Romantic Movement, and wrote some of the most iconic works in English poetry.

The archive includes a "wealth" of unpublished information about Coleridge, the Lake District in which he worked, and his extended family, the Library said.

Coleridge and his family were key figures in English society, which further accounts for the British Library's interest.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Letters written by Coleridge to his brother George are also included
In particular, the letters and court-room notes of the poet's nephew Sir John Taylor Coleridge, a barrister and judge, are included in the collection.

Sir John Taylor Coleridge's son and grandson also rose to the top of the legal profession, meaning the archive details a vast number of important Victorian legal cases.

"The archive is very extensive and entirely uncatalogued," said Frances Harris, the Library's Head of Modern Historical Manuscripts.

"Our priority during the first year will be to arrange and catalogue the papers in order to make them fully accessible for research as soon as possible."

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