Brigham Young University’s Louisa May Alcott Collection consists of primary and secondary works relating to the life and career of Louisa May Alcott. The collection was started in the 1980s, when BYU acquired a significant number of works from the rare book dealer Leona Rostenberg, and her associate and Alcott scholar, Madeleine Stern. This site provides a sampling of the Alcott Collection holdings. Many other examples not included here can be found by searching the library catalog.
Today, Special Collections actively seeks to acquire all editions of works by Alcott (including foreign-language editions), building on a rich collection of first editions of her novels and stories. The Alcott Collection also contains published editions of Alcott's journals and correspondence, as well as some original primary source material acquired from Rostenberg and Stern.
The Alcott Collection contains an extensive array of secondary works, including biographies and criticism of Alcott, her writings, and her influence, as well as works about her father, philosopher Amos Bronson Alcott. Special Collections also seeks to acquire first editions of his writings.
The Alcott Collection is a rich resource for the study of Louisa May Alcott's influence on the arts and culture, and for the examination of Alcott's place in the popular imagination for over a century. BYU has acquired examples of literary, stage, film, and musical adaptations of Little Women and other Alcott novels, and a variety of ephemera related to her life and works. These ephemeral pieces include postcards, calendars, and other printed works related to Orchard House, the Alcott family home, and diaries and toy books based on Alcott's writings.
Students and faculty with demonstrated research interests may access these collections. Patrons can request reading privileges online or in person at the Special Collections reference desk. University faculty may also arrange for class presentations of these and any other materials in Special Collections on our website.