May 21, 2022

USC Libraries Buys Unpublished Lewis Carroll Letter at London Auction, Letter Will Digitized and Made Available Online

From the University of Southern California:

USC Libraries officials are the anonymous buyers of an unpublished letter by C.L. Dodgson, famous for publishing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass under the pen name Lewis Carroll.

The letter was purchased at a London auction on March 19 through a third party, generating speculation and curiosity throughout the world of Carroll scholars and enthusiasts.

USC kept the purchase under tight wraps to surprise alumnus Dr. George Cassady and his wife, Linda. Dr. Cassady founded the G. Edward Cassady M.D. and Margaret Elizabeth Cassady R.N., Lewis Carroll Collection in honor of his parents.

Dean Catherine Quinlan announced the acquisition at Doheny Library during the 10th annual Wonderland Award ceremony on April 17.

The Wonderland Award is an annual multidisciplinary competition sponsored by Mrs. Cassady that encourages new scholarship and creative work related to Carroll.

“This letter holds tremendous intellectual value for students of literature, history and other areas of inquiry important to our community at USC and to Carroll scholars everywhere,” Quinlan said. “I’m proud that it has become part of our Cassady Carroll Collection and that we’re able to make it accessible to researchers here and around the world through our USC Digital Library.


Preservation specialists will carefully scan the letter for the USC Digital Library, and the original will be available to the public and independent researchers — contrary to the policy of many private libraries.


The letter will be available soon to the public on campus and online at the USC Digital Library.

Read the Complete Announcement, Learn More About the Letter
View a picture of the letter.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.