For the scholar and the advanced student the
major print resources on Conrad's creative work and life are covered
in "Further Reading" in The
Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad, ed. J. H. Stape (Cambridge
University Press, 1996). The Oxford
Reader's Companion to Joseph Conrad by Owen Knowles and Gene
M. Moore (Oxford University Press, 2000) supplements and brings
closer to date the works Stape notes.
An essential guide to criticism to 1990 is
to be found in Owen Knowles, An
Annotated Critical Bibliography of Joseph Conrad (Harvester
Wheatsheaf, 1990). After that date, the researcher must rely on
the Annual Bibliography compiled by the Modern Language Association
of America and The Year's Work
in English Studies, the latter evaluative.
The scholarly resources noted here focus on
those available on the World Wide Web. Over the past five years
in particular these have dramatically altered certain kinds of historical,
bibliographical, and biographical searches. Literary criticism is
not as well served, much publishing of critical articles still occurring
in print or accessible in digital form only through subscription
services and mainly accessed through university libraries or other
major libraries. (Access to these resources through the British
Library is on-site only.)
Much of the Conrad canon is available online
(see Links); however, the accuracy and reliability of these texts
is often questionable, and the scholar cannot often be assured of
the edition used. Useful for searching words or phrases, these tend
to have more limited appeal for serious textual purposes.
Various works by Conrad (including some volumes
of the Heinemann Collected Edition), as well as early works of criticism
(Curle's 1914 study) and selected other sources, including Garnett's
edition of letters to Conrad, are available at the Internet Archive, whose usefulness belies its appearance. Also available
through the site are several first editions and Notes on My
Books. Various first editions are also available at the Open
Library and GoogleBooks.
All volumes of Heinemann's Collected Edition (1920-21, 1926-27) are available as PDFs on the website of the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The call number is 256 d.307: The Works of Joseph Conrad.
Volumes 1-3 of the Catalogue of the Library of John Quinn (1923) is available in digital form at Hathi Trust.
project puts all the original serial publications online at Conrad First: The Joseph Conrad Periodical Archive, an invaluable resource supported in part by The Joseph Conrad Society (UK).
A useful complement to these are the full volumes of The English Review at the Modernist Journals Project.
Gene M. Moore's A
Descriptive Location Register of Joseph Conrad's Literary Manuscripts
(updated March 2016 version) is available here for download. The original print version (Autumn 2002, 27.2) may be ordered as a back issue of The Conradian (see Publications page for details).
The major Conrad libraries are listed on the
Links page of this website. Conrad's main
French sources and materials in French related to his experience
in the French-speaking world and in Africa can be accessed at the Bibliotheque Nationale's website: Gallica.
Textual scholars may find of interest The
Virtual Typewriter Museum, which helps in identifying the various
typewriters used by Conrad's amanuenses, and the "Tuan
Jim" manuscript, the origin of Lord Jim. Thomas J. Wise's Bibliography of Conrad may also be of interest.
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University,
in addition to its rich collection of Conrad photographs, has put
online the whole of 'Heart of Darkness' and The Shadow-Line,
as well as several short stories collected in Tales of Unrest.
Conrad's reading may be canvassed by a search
on the UK
Reading Experience Database.
The Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, offers online access to Conradiana, including the Victory MS and the Chance TS.
Various genealogical resources, most involving
payment, allow establishing facts about the life of Conrad, his
family, and members of his circle. Particularly useful are Ancestry.com
Past .com, both paid services either by subscription or on a
per use basis, making available the Censuses of England and Wales
since 1840 and the records of Birth, Marriage, and Death of the
Registrar General. Available without charge is FreeBMD,
which covers much of the same territory, but has less subtle search
engines and provides information.
Also of interest is the free Family
Search site offering data of various kinds (UK Census 1881,
US Social Security Death Index, International Genealogical Index).
Invaluable for tracing the movements of Conrad's
friends and business contacts on trips across the Atlantic is The
Ellis Island Site, which logs passenger arrivals (including
Conrad's own arrival in the Tuscania
in 1923) in New York from about 1890 to 1925. Some passenger manifests
also include personal details such as address, profession, date
of birth, and height and eye colour.
Invaluable, though deliberately limited to
selected periods, are the series of historical directories for England
and Wales available through the Historical
Directories Project, based at the University of Leicester. Although
the search engine is clumsy, this material previously available
only at Guildhall, the British Library, and some local libraries
offers a wealth of information for tracing references to individuals
mentioned in Conrad's correspondence or for figures who provided
the basis for fictional characters.
Conrad's London may be vividly conjured up
by the superbly detailed maps and sometimes colourful reports of
the Charles Booth
Online Archive, maintained by the London School of Economics.
Several other historical maps of London, can be accessed at Maps
of London, and period photographs, mainly early twentieth century
but some late Victorian, of the city and, despite its name, of places
throughout England, are available at
Images of London.
Historical maps of Africa, Asia, and Europe
can be accessed at The
Perry Castañeda Map Library, University of Texas and
historical maps of Ukraine at Maps
of the Ukraine (less useful than they might be because the Polish
names, contrary to what is purported, do not use Polish letters).
For exploring Conrad's sources for his South-east
Asian fictions a wide variety of nineteenth-century texts, including
Wallace's Malay Archipelago, is to be found on Cornell's
South-east Asian Visions site, a treasure-trove of travel narratives
The value of money during Conrad's writing
career relative to today's values may be calculated by
Measuring Worth, which gives values for both British and US
Times, Times Literary Supplement,
and The New York Times have
been digitalized and are available through university libraries.
The last offers public access to its
Archives on payment of a per-view fee. The Library of Congress
America offers, with free access, a valuable archive of American
newspapers from 1860–1922.
London Gazette for the 20th century, providing official information,
is available without cost.
Available free online and with materials relevant
for Conrad's experience in the Far East and Australia are Singapore
Pages/ NewspaperSG and Australian
Newspapers. Conrad's period in Geneva is covered by Journal
de Gènève (French search capabilities only).
The researcher who has not already bookmarked
King James Bible will find a fully searchable and easy-to-use
resource managed by the University of Virginia. The
Book of Common Prayer is also useful for tracing Conrad's allusions.
A collection of historical French
dictionaries may be useful in exploring Conrad's French and
A handy perpetual
calendar for the 19th and 20th centuries is available as is
Hobson-Jobson is the standard source for colonial terms. A
useful tool for converting imperial to metric measurement can be
Several works by and about Conrad are to be
found on The
HathiTrust Digital Library.
Sources related to Conrad's maritime career
are of varying usefulness. His experience in Sydney and that of
his friend G. F. W. Hope are covered by Mariners
and Ships in Australian Waters. No South African records survive
at Capetown and details of arrival and departure, apart from newspaper
sources, are lost.
Information on selected ships is available
List of Merchant Vessels, The Ship Index, and on shipping generally at The
Maritime History Virtual Archives.
Also of interest is the Register
of Ship's Captains of papers held at the Guildhall Library,
London, and the useful (but very incomplete) List
of British Ships and Crews of the Crew List Index Project (CLIP)
held in various archives.
terms can be found online, although period usage is perhaps
best researched in nineteenth-century sources.
Alston Kennerley's exhaustive study of Conrad's
shipmates appears in his "Conrad's Shipmates in British Ships,"
The Conradian 37.1 (2012): 59-79.
The following tables and documentation (in
.pdf format) are essential supporting elements of this study:
The following supplementary documentation lists
the names of Conrad's shipmates in British vessels and relates to
his service in the Otago:
The Hans van Marle Collection of
The archives of the eminent Dutch Conradian Hans van Marle (1922–2001)
containing his correspondence, papers, photographs, and books, have
been catalogued and acquired by Senate House Library, University
The Conradian published a selection from these papers,
edited by Gene M. Moore, who has catalogued them as a project of
the Joseph Conrad Society (UK).
A detailed catalogue / finder’s aid is available in pdf here:
van Marle Collection. (If the page does not appear immediately,
enter "van marle" on the search screen).
(pdf. file) of Marguerite Poradowska's translation into French of
Conrad's "An Outpost of Progress." For a discussion, see
Anne Arnold, "Marguerite Poradowska
as a Translator of Conrad," The Conradian 33.1 (2008):