University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Bill Duley:

A Preliminary Inventory of his Collection of John Osborne at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Duley, Bill
Title: Bill Duley Collection of John Osborne
Dates: 1977-1997
Abstract: The Bill Duley Collection of John Osborne contains correspondence from John and Helen Osborne to Bill and Joan Duley, as well as clippings, articles and photographs of John and Helen Osborne. The collection denotes the longtime friendship between Bill Duley and John Osborne from the 1970s through the 1990s.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-5323
Extent: 1 document box (.42 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Scope and Contents

The Bill Duley Collection of John Osborne contains correspondence from John and Helen Osborne to Bill and Joan Duley, as well as clippings, photographs and playbills from two of John Osborne’s theater productions, Déjàvu and Inadmissible Evidence. The collection is organized in three series: I. Correspondence, 1977-1997, undated; II. Printed Materials, 1978-1997, undated; and III. Personal Materials, 1994, undated.

The majority of Series I. consists of postcards and letters spanning from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Duley and Osborne’s correspondence, reflecting their friendship through consistent contact over three decades, was at times cordial and at other times personal, discussing daily life, party invitations, travels, and illness.

The materials in Series II. primarily consist of newspaper clippings, articles about Osborne’s upcoming birthdays or milestone events, and reviews of his work. Also included in this series are several magazine articles, one written on the life of Osborne upon turning 55, while several others are written by Osborne in a weekly series called "Diary" run in The Spectator. Ranging from May 1992 to December 1993, each article consists of several entries characterized by the passionate and scathing commentary that Osborne was known for.

Series III. consists of personal materials collected by Duley, including a program from Osborne’s funeral service and photographs of winter scenery and John and Helen Osborne.

These materials were assembled by Bill Duley, a bank manager in Canada and a personal friend of John Osborne.



Open for research

Related Material

Additional Osborne materials at the Ransom Center are located in the John Osborne Papers.

Administrative Information


Gift, 2013 (2013-08-006-G)

Processed by:

Monica Martinez, 2013

Container List

Series I. Correspondence 1977-1997, undated

1.1 Correspondence (letters, postcards) from John Osborne to Bill Duley

Series II. Printed Materials 1978-1997, undated

1.2 Newspaper clippings related to John Osborne, 1978-1997, undated
1.3 Telegraph Sunday Magazine, 1984
1.4 The Spectator, May 1992-Dec. 1993
1.5 Play bills from Dejavu and Inadmissible Evidence

Series III. Personal Materials1994, undated

1.6 Photographs of John and Helen Osborne
1.7 Funeral service program