Welcome to the Beckett Digital Library

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The BDL is a digital reconstruction of Samuel Beckett's personal library, based on the volumes preserved at his apartment in Paris, in archives (Beckett International Foundation) and private collections (James and Elizabeth Knowlson Collection, Anne Atik, Noga Arikha, Terence Killeen,...). It currently houses 815 extant volumes, as well as 247 virtual entries for which no physical copy has been retrieved.

The BDL module is a part of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project and contains scans of book covers, title pages, all pages with reading traces, flyleaves, colophons, tables of contents, indexes and inserts of various kinds. In addition to facsimiles, the BDL also offers transcriptions of readings traces and links to Beckett's manuscripts.

The BDL is accompanied by a monograph (Dirk Van Hulle and Mark Nixon, Samuel Beckett's Library, Cambridge UP, 2013)

Explore the BDL

Reading Traces

The volumes in Beckett's library show different forms of reading traces, ranging from underlined or marked passages and dog-eared pages to 'marginalia'. These annotations in the margins of a book, or on a separate piece of paper, can be written by Beckett or a previous owner. Here is a list of all books with marginalia, while reading traces in general may be explored here.

Links to the manuscripts

Beckett often used the books that he read in his own writing. Whenever a passage is alluded to in the drafts of his works, this is highlighted by a 'Manuscript Link' in the bibliographic description of the volume in question. Here is a preliminary list of library books referred to in Beckett’s manuscripts.

Guide to users

A manual for the BDL is available at all times by clicking on the icon in the navigation bar.

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