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The British Author Collections are multiple special collections related to the lives and works of five authors: C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield. By facilitating the discovery and use of the materials within these collections, Archives & Special Collections seeks to promote the integration of faith, scholarship, and creativity modeled by this group of British Christian authors. The collections include books, manuscripts, letters, periodicals, and other artifacts by and about these individuals.
The following are several notable collections within the British Author Collections:
The Brown Collection, named in honor of Dr. Edwin W. Brown (1926-2015), contains the initial collection of materials acquired by Taylor University in 1997. Brown, a physician and Indiana University professor who earned his M.D. at Harvard University (1953). For decades, Brown collected books, journals, manuscripts, and other materials by and about the five authors, and began collecting first editions of C.S. Lewis due to the growth in his Christian faith from reading Lewis’ books. He then became interested in collecting other authors due to their relationship with Lewis.
The Brown Collection includes first British and first American editions of books authored by Lewis, books edited or with prefaces by Lewis, published essays and lectures, books about Lewis, and two Lewis manuscripts. It also includes several first editions of books authored by George MacDonald, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield.
In the 1990’s, Taylor University Professor of Mathematics Dr. David L. Neuhouser, who met Brown in 1980 began taking students enrolled in his seminars about Lewis and MacDonald to Brown’s home to experience the collection and hear Brown’s stories of his interactions with those connected with Lewis.
The McCaslin Collection, named in honor of D. Alston Jones “Jay” McCaslin V. McCaslin curated an extensive collection of works by C.S. Lewis during his lifetime. In 2020, his family donated the collection to Taylor University as they desired for the materials to be housed at an educational institution. The McCaslin Collection includes first British and first American editions of many of Lewis’ works.