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Archives and Special Collections: Robert Louis Stevenson Collection

Collection Information

Collection: Stevenson

Classmark: Stevenson

Biographical/administrative history: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was a Scottish writer, his most famous works being Treasure Island (1883), The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), and Kidnapped (1886). Born in Edinburgh, he spent much of his life overseas. He suffered from chronic lung disease and sought a climate favourable to his health, eventually settling in Samoa in the Pacific, where he died.

As well as novels, he wrote poetry, short stories, essays, plays and travel literature. He was a celebrity in his lifetime, though he fell out of favour during the 20th century, only recently being re-evaluated.

Contents: Works by Stevenson, mostly published in the years following his death. Includes the Edinburgh edition of his works, as well as his collected letters, published in 1994-95 by Yale University Press. Also includes some biographical works, e.g. Graham Balfour’s Life of Robert Louis Stevenson (1901).

Extent: 139 titles

Catalogue Information

All books are listed in the online library catalogue. To see a list, do a  search for ‘Stevenson’. Books in the Stevenson Collection have a classmark which starts with 'Stevenson'. Select a book in this collection then click on the Virtual Browse in the record to browse other books in the collection.


Additional Collection Information

Custodial history: The collection was donated by the Balfour family in 2009. Stevenson’s mother was Margaret Isabella Balfour (1829–1897). His official biography was written by his cousin, Graham Balfour (1858-1929).

Accruals: none expected

Access conditions: Please contact us in advance of a visit by emailing

Languages: English


Using the collection

Archives Reading Room

Opening Hours:

10.00 am - 1.00 pm / 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Monday - Friday

Contact us:

Tel. 01786 466619


Please contact us in advance of your visit. Material can be ordered in advance by emailing us at