The Dodie Smith collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, printed material, journals and diaries, photographs, artwork, and other items.
Manuscripts by Dodie Smith in the collection are extensive, and includes book-length fiction, autobiography, stage plays, and a bound volume of poetry.
Books by Smith in the collection include I Capture the Castle (Little, Brown, 1948); 101 Dalmatians (Heinemann, 1956); New Moon With the Old (Atlantic / Little, Brown, 1965); The Starlight Barking: More about the Hundred and One Dalmatians (Heinemann, 1967); It Ends With Revelations (Atlantic / Little, Brown, 1967); A Tale of Two Families (Walker, 1970); The Midnight Kittens (W. H. Allen, 1978); and The Girl From the Candle-Lit Bath (W. H. Allen, 1978).
Autobiographical works by Smith include A Look Back with Mixed Feelings (W. H. Allen 1978); A Look Back with Astonishment (W. H. Allen, 1979); A Look Back in Gratitude (Muller Blond and White, 1985); and several pages of notes.
Stage plays by Smith include Service (1932); Call It a Day (1935); Bonnet Over the Windmill (1937); Autumn Crocus (1939); also present in novel and screenplay versions; Dear Octopus (1938); Lovers and Friends (Samuel French, 1944); I Capture the Castle (Samuel French, 1952); and These People, Those Books (1958).
Correspondence in the collection consists of both personal and professional letters dating from the 1930s to the 1980s. Some are arranged alphabetically by correspondent; others are grouped by subject. Topics include 101 Dalmatians ; fan mail; charity and non-profit organizations; “aspiring playwrights”; theatre companies; and insurance companies. Notable correspondents include Hugh Beaumont, Christopher Isherwood, Ambrose Heal, John Gielgud, and Esme Wynn-Tyson.
Printed material in the collection primarily consists of scrapbooks containing clippings of reviews and articles about Smith’s plays, including Autumn Crocus, Call It A Day, Dear Octopus, I Capture the Castle, Bonnet Over the Windmill, and Touch Wood, as well as Smith’s autobiographies. Also present are issues of magazines with published items by or about Smith.
Journals and diaries in the collection consist of several items dating from ca. 1917 to 1979. They contain personal reflections and autobiographical notes.
Photographs in the collection consist of images of Smith and her family, as well as photos from her travels and performances of her plays.
Artwork in the collection includes some of the original ink drawings by Janet and Anne Graham-Johnstone for 101 Dalmatians, as well as original drawings for The Starlight Barking .
Other material in the collection includes insurance forms, tax and investment documents, various receipts, documents regarding play and theater accounts, and the will of Smith’s husband, Alec Beesley.