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Robin Hyde literary and personal papers


The Robin Hyde literary and personal papers held by the Alexander Turnbull Library and Special Collections at the University of Auckland illustrate many facets of Hyde’s short but fierce life, reflected in manuscripts, notebooks, correspondence and photograph albums.

Robin Hyde (born Iris Guiver Wilkinson (1906-1939) had a great mind which was desperately using words in an attempt to process the chaos unfolding around her throughout her own battle with mental illness, the Great Depression and the lead up to World War Two. In her 33 years Hyde lived consciously as “a user of words, a maker of words, and above all, a fighter with words”. This ethos is omnipresent throughout these collections of Hyde’s work, the scope and depth of which is arguably yet to be emulated.

Her papers are a rich literary and historical resource for interested academics and students and have been a source of inspiration for contemporary film makers, playwrights, writers and artists.

Archive Location

Alexander Turnbull Library and the University of Auckland

Robyn Hyde. Draft Poem. MSS97.1 493a. University of Auckland.

William Empson, James Bertram, Robin Hyde, and Mr Rainer, 1938. PAColl-9272-2-02. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Iris Guiver Wilkinson 1906-1939, Self-portrait Robin Hyde ca 1937. MS-Group-1648 Ref: A-358-038. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Notebook excerpt – from ‘The godwits fly’ (i) (Exercise book 16). MSY-6669-003. Alexander Turnbull Library.