An introduction to the project and the compilers
This is a working bibliography of the works of Naomi Mitchison, who did many things in her life, but above all was a writer. Her writing career extended over 80 years, 5 continents, and over 2,000 items: novels, articles, poetry, reviews, plays, autobiography, speeches, interviews and letters. Creating and publishing the bibliography of such a writer is a massive work, which cannot be completed by one person working alone. This bibliography of the published works by Naomi Mitchison is the work of many, but primarily of three people.
Violet Williams was Naomi Mitchison's secretary for many years, in London and in Carradale. She began work towards a bibliography while still employed by Mitchison, compiling lists and index cards, and retaining clippings and letters. She continued that work until her life's end.
Caroline Mullan is a reader and collector of Mitchison's work, her original interest sparked by reading Memoirs of a Spacewoman, but extending through historical fiction and poetry, to material relating to her life and work. She already owned over 60 books by and about Mitchison when she met Violet for the first time. They met at an event called "Late Words" at the Royal Festival Hall in 1991, where Naomi was reading her own poems. Violet knew she needed help to compile a bibliography, although even she did not fully comprehend the scale of the project she had embarked upon. Caroline subsequently introduced Violet to her friend Roger.
Roger Robinson was already an experienced bibliographer, having published several SF reference works. Roger welcomed the challenge presented by Mitchison's body of work, and realised that between them the three had the skills and resources required to undertake the task. They got on well, and met regularly during the mid-1990s. From their own and publicly available resources in England, Scotland and the US, and without the aid of the internet, they compiled an initial list of some 1,200 items. Then, for lack of a publication budget for a print edition, the bibliography languished for some years. But it was not forgotten.
In 2012 the work resumed. Since then, with the help of the internet and a growing number of helpers and allies, an additional 1100 published items have been identified and listed. Roger has prepared the material for online interactive publication.
Roger and Caroline give our thanks to the many people and institutions who gave their help and encouragement to bring this project to its public fruition. But in particular we would like to remember and thank Naomi Mitchison, whose work has made ours worth it; and our friend Violet, without whom this project would not have been begun, and would not have been possible.
There is a vast store of relevant but as-yet unpublished material in academic archives throughout the world, but these items are (currently) beyond the scope of this bibliography, which remains a work in progress. Roger and Caroline are committed to maintaining and updating the website as a resource for scholars and readers. We welcome contributions, questions and comment on our work, and hope that people will find it of value.
You can contact the compilers via email to Beccon.