First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Isaac Rosenberg Collection archival holdings

The manuscripts that survived Isaac Rosenberg's death in April 1918 passed mostly into the possession of his sister, Annie. In 1953 Annie passed most of these papers onto her literary executors, Patric Dickenson and Ian Parsons, the literary executor of the Gordon Bottomley estate also inherited further Rosenberg material. Together, in 1979, both estates combined their their collections and donated the manuscripts to the Department of Documents at the Imperial War Museum.

The First World War Poetry Digital Archive has digitised a significant selection of the holdings at the IWM, along with holdings of correspondance at The British Library and The Berg Collection at New York Public Library. More than with most poets the manuscripts of Isaac Rosenberg tell us important information about the conditions that the poet worked under, especially in France. Paper was in short supply and Rosenberg wrote on any scraps he could find, almost all of the poetry he produced between June 1916 and April 1918 was written in or close to the front line. His paper became wet, torn, and stained with mud. The materiality of the manuscripts tells us a lot about Rosenberg's life.

The Imperial War Museum, Department of Documents


f. 190,191,192 , 208, 209. 210, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 225 284


f. 61, 62, 63, 64 118


f. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 31, 32, 35, 38, 41, 42, 43, 47, 53, 58, 59, 73, 85, 86


f. 4, 5. 6, 11

The British Library

ADD 48210: Poems, etc. by Isaac Rosenberg (d. 1918) (selection)

Poetry drafts, partly in pencil. and including (ff. 20-22, 24) some typescript; 1905-1917, n.d. Autograph,. except ff. 27-28. All have been printed in the edition of his Collected Works. by I. Parsons, 1979, and most in the edition by G. Bottomley and D. W.

Loan 103/77: Rosenberg Letters I512 E (selection)

34 letters and 18 draft poems sent to G. Bottomley (July 1916 March 1918) and L. Binyon (1912-1913).

The Berg Collection, New York Public Library

Berg Coll MSS Rosenberg : Isaac Rosenberg Collection of Papers, 1912-1950 Bulk (1912-1937). (114 items). (selection)

A synthetic collection consisting of manuscripts and typescripts, correspondence, a portrait, and a water color drawing by the author. The manuscripts and typescripts include a manuscript transcription in the hand of Sir Edward Howard Marsh. The collection also includes correspondence, dating from 1914 to 1918, to Lascelles Abercrombie and Marsh. Also present are letters relating to the author, dating from 1912 to 1950, between various correspondents, including Laurence Binyon, Denys Clement Wyatt Harding, Sir Edward Howard Marsh, the poet's sister Annie Rosenberg, and others. There is also a November [1915] letter to Rosenberg from Lascelles Abercrombie. A selection will be made on viewing but will include ms of poems sent to Marsh.