Collection RBSC-ARC-1839 - Reg Innell Collection of Shelleyana

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Reg Innell Collection of Shelleyana

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the collection.

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  • [1825]-[2018], predominant 1953-1989 (Creation)
    Innell, Reg

Physical description area

Physical description

14 cm textual records
1 photograph album (24 b&w photographs)
1 medallion

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(March 13, 1925 - February 1, 2018)

Biographical history

Reginald “Reg” George Innell was born in Rainham, Essex, England, on March 13, 1925. At age eight, his mother, Jessie Alice Innell, died and at age twelve, his father Joseph Innell, a laborer, also died. Forced to leave school by age fourteen, Innell worked at various jobs and later developed a keen interest in photography. During World War II, Innell joined the British Army and after the war returned to the United Kingdom, working as a freelance photographer. In 1958, Innell emigrated to Canada, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1989.

From 1960 until he retired in 1990, Innell worked as a photojournalist for the Toronto Star Newspaper. Innell won awards for his photography , including the National Newspaper Award for best feature photograph and the “Great Moments in Photography” award from Life Magazine.

When not working, Innell spent most of his time in bookstores and would eventually build a collection of over 5,000 books. From the very beginning, Innell’s main collection focus was on the English Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley. His collection of Shelley materials eventually comprised over 1,200 books, including several rare first editions. He also collected the works of individuals associated with Shelley’s life, including Leigh Hunt, Lord Byron, John Keats, Thomas Love Peacock, Edward Trelawny, William Goodwin, Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley.

In the 1960s, Innell travelled to Mexico, up the Amazon, then to North Africa and Egypt where he photographed architectural monuments as well as ordinary people, in various environments and at various stages of their life. In later years, he would take several trips to Italy, Ireland, Wales and the US, especially to photograph the homes, graves, and memorials of some of this favorite authors, such as W. B. Yeats, Dylan Thomas, D. H. Lawrence, William Morris, Thomas Hardy and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Innell died on February 1, 2018, at the age of 92, in Toronto, Ontario.

Custodial history

Materials were collected by Reg Innell from various sources.

Scope and content

The Reg Innell Collection of Shelleyana consists of ephemera related to Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the major English Romantic poets, collected over many years. Materials include scrapbooks, a photograph album, prints, newspaper clippings, postcards, letters and a medallion bearing Shelley’s image.

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Immediate source of acquisition

The collection was acquired by UBC from Innell's estate in 2019.


The collection was arranged by the archivist generally in the order in which the materials were received.

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Associated materials

The Reg Innell Collection of Shelleyana books can be found in the UBC library catalogue.

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No further accruals are expected.

General note

Includes the following photograph album RBSC-ARC-1839-PH-01 (24 b&w photographs) and medallion RBSC-ARC-1839-AR-01.

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Finding aid produced by Catherine Hall, June 2022.

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