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Barbara Reynolds Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Wade-B-10 through B-16

Scope and Contents

The Barbara Reynolds Papers contains a variety of materials from Dr. Reynolds's extensive career, primarily from her scholarship in Dante studies and Dorothy L. Sayers. The collection spans from 1853 to 2015, with emphasis on materials from the 1950s until 2000. The archive also includes some personal papers and photographs.


  • Created: 1853-2015
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1950-2000
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/07/2016


Language of Materials

English, Italian, French

Biographical or Historical Information

This collection arrived at the Wade Center in March 2016 from Adrian Thorpe, son of Barbara Reynolds. Acq. 16/20. A later collection of papers, also from the possession of Barbara Reynolds, was purchased at auction from Sotheby's (Lot 191) in December 2017, Acq. 18/14. Some of these papers were added to this collection, as noted. Others were placed in the Sayers letter, photograph, and manuscript collections of the Wade Center.


7 boxes : 4 books, 1 CD, 1 portrait

6.3 Linear Feet


This archive includes professional and personal documents relating to the life and work of Barbara Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is a noted scholar of Dante, Italian studies, and Dorothy L. Sayers.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged in 9 series: Correspondence, Dante, Dorothy L. Sayers, Events, Wheaton College, Barbara Reynolds Lectures, Ariosto Materials, Publications, and Personal Papers.

The Correspondence series contains General Correspondence arranged chronologically (1954-2000), followed by correspondence with individuals as noted, arranged alphabetically by last name and then chronologically.

The Dante series includes a wide variety of notes, publications, events, and other materials relating to the extensive work Dr. Reynolds did in Dante studies throughout her career. Note that lectures she gave on Dante appear in the Barbara Reynolds Lectures series.

The Dorothy L. Sayers series contains related correspondence, information on Sayers memorials, articles and publications by and about Sayers, material relating to scholarship on Sayers by others, Sayers events, notes on works by Sayers, research materials on people who knew Sayers, and unpublished materials. Researchers should note that the correspondence between Reynolds and Sayers is stored in the Wade's Dorothy L. Sayers Papers, folders 540-565.

The Events series contains related materials to several events Reynolds attended, including: the American Ariosto Centennial Celebration, the Italian Institute, and the Malvern Conference (1991).

The Wheaton College series relates to the time Dr. Reynolds spent at Wheaton College, and her relationships and activities there. It includes materials on the Wade Center authors, correspondence with Wade Center employees, Dr. Reynolds's friendship with Clyde S. Kilby, notes for the Dante Reading Group at Wheaton - led by Reynolds, lectures Reynolds gave at Wheaton, the Certificate of Merit and Doctor of Letters diploma awarded to Reynolds by Wheaton College, some VII materials, and her participation in the dedication of the Wade Center building in 2001. Note that some Wheaton-related photos appear in the Personal Papers series.

The Barbara Reynolds Lectures series includes a variety of lectures given by Dr. Reynolds primarily on the topics of Dante, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Ariosto. Includes notes and lecture transcripts.

The Ariosto Materials series contains notes and articles relating to the life and works of the Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto, primarily known for his romance epic Orlando Furioso, which Dr. Reynolds translated.

The Publications series contains articles by Reynolds, and extensive research materials and correspondence relating to her published works, including her Sayers biography Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul, the 4 volumes of collected letters of Dorothy L. Sayers, her translations of Orlando Furioso and Vita Nova, and The Passionate Intellect: Dorothy L. Sayers' Encounter with Dante.

The Personal Papers series includes family correspondence, programs from the memorial service following Reynolds's death, a few publications, a CD, a portrait of Reynolds, and a series of photographs, including some from her visits to Wheaton College, and events with the Dorothy L. Sayers Society.

Source of Acquisition

16/20, 18/14

Related Materials

See also the following archives:

Zeal of Thy House

The Just Vengeance

The Mind of the Maker

The Emperor Constantine

Love All & Busman's Honeymoon

Muriel St. Clare Byrne Collection


Alfred Reynolds (Grandson of the Founder, father of Barbara Reynolds); edited by Adrian Thorpe (Grandson of the Author, son of Barbara Reynolds). The Story of Reynolds' Exhibition. Sherborne, Dorset [England] : Traviata Books, 2018. Call number: DA690.L8 R49 2018

Sayers, Dorothy L. Further Papers on Dante. London: Methuen, 1957. Personal working copy of Barbara Reynolds, with annotations. Call number: PQ4390 .S29 1957 copy 5

Sound and Video Recordings:

Oral History recordings with Barbara Reynolds, and many other lectures by her in the Wade Center's sound recordings collection.

Sound Recordings (by the father of Barbara Reynolds):

Reynolds, Alfred. Music for the Theatre. Meridian Records, 1996. Wade call number: DLS-Z / SR-36

Reynolds, Alfred. Alice through the Looking-Glass Suite, etc. British Light Music. London: Marco Polo, 2002. Wade call number: DLS-Z / SR-37

Related Publications

Reynolds, Barbara. Dante: The Poet, The Political Thinker, The Man. Emeryville, CA : Shoemaker & Hoard, An Imprint Of Avalon Pub. Group: 2006.

Reynolds, Barbara. Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1993 and New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.

Reynolds, Barbara, Hone, Ralph E. The Passionate Intellect: Dorothy L. Sayers' Encounter With Dante. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1989.

Dante Alighieri, Reynolds, Barbara, La Vita Nuova: (Poems Of Youth). [Harmondsworth]: Penguin Books, 1975, ©1969.

Reynolds, Alfred. The Story of Reynolds' Exhibition. Ed. Adrian Thorpe. Traviata Books, 2018.

Thorpe, Lewis G. M., Reynolds, Barbara, The Lancelot in the Arthurian Prose Vulgate. [Wheaton, Ill.]: Dept. of English, Wheaton College, 1980.

Ariosto, Lodovico, Reynolds, Barbara, Orlando Furioso: The Frenzy of Orlando: A Romantic Epic. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975.

Dante Alighieri, Reynolds, Barbara, Sayers, Dorothy L. The Comedy of Dante Alighieri, The Florentine, Cantica III, Paradise. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1962.

Sayers, Dorothy L., Reynolds, Barbara,The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers. Vol. 1. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1995.

Sayers, Dorothy L., Reynolds, Barbara,The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers. Vols. 2-4. Cambridge [UK]: Dorothy L. Sayers Society, 1997-2000. Vols. 1-2: New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996, 1998.

Sayers, Dorothy L., Reynolds, Barbara, Dorothy L. Sayers: Child and Woman of Her Time: A Supplement to the Letters Of Dorothy L. Sayers. Cambridge: The Dorothy L. Sayers Society, 2002.

Separated Materials

A portrait of Barbara Reynolds is stored in the Artwork collection, call number A-369. Some manuscript and letter materials by Dorothy L. Sayers were removed from this archive and placed in the Wade's Manuscript and Letter collections. Copies of notes by Sayers's tutors from Somerville College were placed in the Sayers Undergraduate Notes archive with permission from the Somerville College Archives.

Other Descriptive Information

There is an acquisition file for this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Laura Schmidt

Barbara Reynolds Papers
Laura Schmidt
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Marion E. Wade Center Repository

Wheaton College
501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 US