Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in the house which is now the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum. The museum’s collection of books by and about Dickens is now housed in the Dickens room on the second floor of the central library.
There are 1,500 books and 100 reels of microfilm which can be viewed by appointment. Staff can retrieve individual books for you to study at History Centre tables, or you can make an appointment for up to one hour supervised by a member of staff.
Anyone contemplating long term research is advised to write to the City Librarian, supplying a reference, asking for written permission to use the collection unsupervised.
The core of the collection consists of the various editions of Dickens’s novels, including some of the monthlies in which many were first published, individual editions and sets of novels by Dickens’s main publishers and others.
Also on display are Dickens’s main periodicals ‘Household Words’ and ‘All the Year Round’, along with plays, poems and letters.
There are also many critical studies, biographies of Dickens and books about Dickens and places associated with him, notably London and Kent.