The Great War centenary: the archive collections

Archive collections

The many faces of the Great War, political, scientific, social and military, are clearly reflected in the archive collections. There are five in particular that contain a quantity of material which is of interest to researchers and historians.  Please click on any of the images for larger versions.

Lord Cherwell, Frederick Lindemann

As Cherwell was scientific adviser to Winston Churchill, and a close personal friend, his archive collection is better known for it’s Second World War content.  However, among the scientific research, writings and conferences in Section C of the collection are papers and correspondence relating to Cherwell’s work at the Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough, 1915-1918. He worked on various projects there connected with range and direction finding, detection of submarines and aircraft, and aircraft spin, and these are documented here. In file D.51 there is also correspondence with A.C.G. Egerton, one of Cherwell’s earliest colleagues, of which 1914 relates to Cherwell’s and Egerton’s attempts to assist the war effort and includes a copy of their letter for 8 August 1914 offering their services to the War Office. There are other letters between him and scientific colleagues, including W.H. Nernst (D.167-D.172) and R.W. Pohl (D.180).

Cherwell archive collection C.13/2

Cherwell archive collection C.13/2

Lord Emmott

Alfred, Baron Emmott, was a politician and cotton manufacturer who was an MP, served as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, directed the War Trade Department, chaired a commission looking into the desirability of decimal coinage and was Chairman of the Foreign Office Committee collecting information on conditions in Russia, among other roles. His collection has three areas of interest:

  • diaries from 1914-1915 (I),
  • correspondence and memorandum, 1912-1921 which includes material such as an account of the North Sea battle by an officer of the 5th Battle Squadron, 11 Jun 1916 (ff 37-44) (II) and a file of memorandum and correspondence on the need for a permanent trade intelligence bureau, Nov-Dec 1916 (ff 59-94), (II)
  • miscellaneous press cuttings, 1913-1920 (ff 1-287) (III/16)

Lord Gainford (Pease family)

The Pease family was a prominent English and mostly Quaker family associated with Darlington and County Durham.  The family established the Stockton and Darlington Railway in the 1820s and a family bank, the failure of which in 1902 forced several of them close to bankruptcy. Nine members of the family were Members of Parliament, including the first Quaker Member of Parliament.  They were also heavily involved during the 19th and early 20th centuries in woollen manufacturing, railways, coal mines, and politics and the collection, therefore, contains correspondence, papers and publications giving a valuable insight into social and political history from that period. However, there are many sections of particular relevance to the First World War:

  • Box 34 contains Joseph Albert Pease’s (JAP) diaries from 1915, which include private particulars of war events given to the Cabinet and accounts of trips to France with the Claims Commission, 1915-1917.
  • Boxes 35-37 contain JAP’s war reminisces from 1914-1920.
  • Box 49 has press cuttings of political activities and post World War One social activities, while boxes 53, 54 & 55 contain cuttings, telegrams, letters and House of Commons voting records and campaign literature, various memorial services, including Kitchener and Unknown Soldier, along with many cuttings about early broadcasting, 1914-1924.
  • Box 58 contains press cuttings and leaflets on World War One, for example maps of the different battle fronts, memo regarding Anglo-German negotiations on the subject of the limitation of armaments and cognate matters and leaflets from the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee.
  • Box 85 includes correspondence and leaflets from the war years, covering subjects such as JAPs son enlisting, how the family views the war as Quakers, notes on classes for recruits at White City and leaflets by JAP on education and the war and ‘Why did we go to war?’.
  • Boxes 86-91 contain material and correspondence from 1915-1919, much relating to the war at home and abroad.
  • Box 122 contains Cabinet memos from 1912 and 1916, including ‘secret history of negotiations with Germany’, while box 123 has selected war papers sent to JAP, 1916, boxes 124-128 cover his time at the Board of Education, 1911-1915 and boxes 129-130 his time as Postmaster General, 1916.
  • Box 144 has printed reports on foreign newspapers for the Cabinet, 1915-1917.
  • Box 147 contains papers relating to the Claims Commission, 1917-1920.
  • Box 163 includes miscellaneous printed political pamphlets, 1895-1918, many during the war years, as does box 164.
  • Boxes 178 and 179 has miscellaneous correspondence & papers, 1911-1918, much between JAP and his son, Joseph, at the front.
  • Boxes 189-192 form part of the Elsie Pease’s collection, JAP’s wife, and contain mostly correspondence with friends and family during the war years.
  • Miriam Pease’s, JAP’s eldest daughter, correspondence and diaries for the war years are in boxes 197 and 198.
Gainford archive collection 34/1

Gainford archive collection 34/1

Guild Socialism

These papers are a collection of records of the Guild Socialist movement from 1915 to the mid 1920′s. They include National Guild League minute books, propaganda publications, material from overseas (including America, Australia, India and Japan), special interest groups (including agriculture, women and the Douglas credit scheme) and League conference material.  Much of the material is from the latter years of the war into the early 1920′s but serve to illustrate Guild thinking locally and internationally at this time.

Lord Mottistone

The papers of John Edward Bernard Seely, Lord Mottistone, have been divided into six main classes: general correspondence, political papers, official papers, military papers, literary papers and press cuttings. They cover his very varied career; from his time at the War Office, as a soldier during the First World War, in the House of Lords and to Chairman of the National Savings Committee.  There is much in the collection of relevance therefore, but of particular interest are:

  • I. General correspondence, MSS Mottistone 2 & 3 which cover the war years.
  • III Official papers, MSS Mottistone 11, 12 & 13, papers of the Committee of Imperial Defence (CID) covering the lead up to war and the early years such as documentation regarding the Standing Sub-Committee of the C.I.D. on possible attacks on the British Isles from overseas, including arrangements for home defence in the event of invasion and on the control of aircraft. These include much discussion on the use, or not, of airships, an offer from Birmingham to supply a military aircraft and moves to establish a Liverpool flying corps.
  • III Official papers, MSS Mottistone 15 & 16 contain printed Cabinet memorandum from 1913 & 1914, while MSS Mottistone 17-22A cover War Office documentation and MSS Mottistone 23 documents the Ministry of Munitions and Air, 1918-1919.
  • IV Military papers, MSS Mottistone 24 is a military dossier, 1914-1918 containing items such as notes and memoranda on enemy and allied movements and attacks, including a map of trenches, account of a raid by the Canadian Cavalry Brigade on February 12th/13th 1918 and letters from casualties, all signed, of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade wishing Seely all the best if the rumour is true of his imminent departure from command, June 1918.
  • Other notable items include MSS Mottistone 25/15-104 Seely’s war diary as special service officer to Sir John French, 1914-1915 and MSS Mottistone 38, an album of press cuttings, photographs and cartoons, 1917-1920.
Mottistone archive collection 24/7

Mottistone archive collection 24/7

Further details on these and all the Library archive collections can be found on our website.

The Bodleian Library is also participating in the First World War centenary with an exhibition and talks.

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The Great War: Trade Union and Political Party material

Nuffield College Library is participating in the First World War centenary by showing you material that the library holds from this period and about the Great War. There will be a series of posts each week leading up to the 28th July, when the war began, beginning this week with the library’s Trade Union and Political Party material.

The library has a considerable Trade Union and Political Party collection on the 7th floor. Some of the material dates back to the years of the First World War and gives an impression of how the war affected organisations and people’s lives.

David Lloyd George of the Liberal Party succeeded Herbert Henry Asquith as Prime Minister in December 1916 and formed the Wartime Coalition Government. The library holds pamphlets and leaflets of the Liberal Party from 1903-1929 (and later 1946-1985), which include Acts, speeches, and leaflets on the development of the war. The 1914 volume contains Lloyd George’s speech, given when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, “Through Terror

Liberal Party pamphlets and leaflets, 1914

Liberal Party pamphlets and leaflets, 1918, shelf mark PP Lib 1

to Triumph” at Queen’s Hall, London, in which he discusses the recruitment campaign for the war. It was also under Lloyd George that women won the right to vote for the first time in 1918.

Looking at some of the Political Party material that the library holds, we can see how companies and organisations struggled through the war. The Postman’s Gazette from June 8th 1918 describes how the war came at a time when the Postman’s Federation was being reorganised and new machines were being set up, which were delayed. Men were sent to war, which initially decreased staffing numbers but later saw temporary workers employed. The publication also details the Relief Fund, set up to provide money and employment for widows and orphans of Post Office staff.

1919, PP Lib 1

Liberal Party pamphlets and leaflets, 1919, shelf mark PP Lib 1

Also in the Trade Union collection is The Association of Tax Surveying Officers Quarterly Record. In the 1915 volume the editorial discusses the increase of income tax to support wartime expenditure: “the National war-chest, when war is forced upon us, is not to be drained until the nation has given its all” (p. 4). In the 1919 volume, by which time the war has ended, looks at the restructuring of staff as male surveyors and clerks return home. They hoped to keep the female clerks, who were recruited during the war while men were fighting, and that returning soldiers would take on more senior positions to relieve staff of additional burdens created during the war. There is also discussion of income tax and how to proceed in order to reflect modern developments in finance, commerce, and industry.

The Trade Union and Political Party collection offers an insight into life during the war with titles that were published in the midst of battle, as opposed to modern texts written retrospectively. Details of titles the library holds are available on the library website. In the next couple of weeks will be blog posts on the library’s archive material and textbooks relating to the First World War.

The Bodleian Library is also participating in the First World War centenary with an exhibition and talks.


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Summer vacation opening hours 2014

Monday 14th July sees a change in the library’s opening times during the summer vacation*:


Sun0114th July – 12th September: 13:30 – 17:30 only

Sun01CLOSED Bank Holiday: Monday 25th August

Sun0115th September – 10th October – 09:30 – 17:30

–Standard loan periods apply throughout the summer vacation–


* This does not apply to Nuffield College members, who will have normal access throughout

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From the archives – Sir Norman Chester

Sir Daniel Norman Chester (1907–1986)

Chester photograph in Library corridor

Photograph of Sir Norman Chester in Nuffield College Library

As Warden of Nuffield College from 1954 to 1978, Norman Chester would possibly count one of his greatest achievements as being the reconciliation of Lord Nuffield to the College he had founded.  Lord Nuffield had become disillusioned with the direction the College was taking and had fallen out with one of its leading figures, G.D.H. Cole.  Nevertheless, Chester worked hard to establish a friendly and open relationship with him which resulted in an extremely productive association, during which Chester crucially shaped the early development of this new college for the social sciences; from the finances and furnishing to the recruitment of fellows and students.  The testament to his efforts came on Lord Nuffield’s death in 1963 when he made the college his residuary legatee.


However, there are many more achievements to note as Chester’s career flourished, following double strands of academic pursuits and public service.  This is something the papers in the archive collection reflect and of which Lord Nuffield no doubt approved, given his great belief in the importance of academics mixing with the outside world!  The main collection is contained in 325 boxes and its arrangement gives a valuable and revealing insight into the life and career of an outstanding man:

A. Biographical section: containing his diaries from 1924-1986, correspondence, lecture notes and his thesis from his time at the University of Manchester, material from the War Cabinet Economics Section, to which he was recruited on the outbreak of the war, and documents and correspondence regarding the Beveridge Report and Voluntary Social Services Enquiry.

B. General correspondence section: covering the years 1935-1986 and matters such as academic and general advice given, publishers, invitations to speak and universities he was involved in from Birmingham to Swansea, London School of Economics to Glasgow.

C. Oxford University section: spanning from 1949-1986 and including correspondence and documentation on examining, references, PPE, the Joint University Council for Social Studies and Public Administration and Social Studies Board. There are also small sections on Oxford University Clubs, 1947-1971, the Heyworth, Robbins and Franks Commissions, 1957-1966 and P.D. Leake Fellowship and Gladstone Professorship, 1955-1974.

Photograph of the Duke of Edinburgh with Lord Nuffield and Norman Chester at the ceremony for the presentation of the Royal Charter - from Nuffield College Papers, A3/4/9

Photograph of the Duke of Edinburgh with Lord Nuffield and Norman Chester at the ceremony for the presentation of the Royal Charter – from Nuffield College Papers, A3/4/9

D. Nuffield College section: a wealth of information from 1946-1985, a very formative time in the College’s development: from his initial involvement, speeches in College and election as Warden, to matters concerning the Fellows and Students and his overseas visits.

E. Academic bodies section: Chester was involved in many academic bodies and this section reflects this, with documentation relating to Royal Institute of Public Administration, 1932-1985, Nuffield Foundation, 1949-1967, Political Studies Association, 1949-1979, International Political Science Association, 1950-1983, Public Records Office Publications Committee, 1961-1979, Comparative Politics Group, 1967-1970, Study of Parliament Group, 1964-1986 and European Consortium for Political Research, 1969-1981.

F. Other bodies section: illustrating that double strand of Chester’s career, this section is more concerned with public bodies such as the Local Government Examinations Board and Institute of Hospital Administrators, 1942-1953, Civil Service recruitment and training, 1943-1980, local government, 1944-1977, building industry, 1946-1960, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1950-1959, Monopolies Commission: transport and newspapers, 1959-1969 and Petroleum Press Bureau Foundation, 1969-1978, among others.

G. Publications section: while containing copies of his many lectures, speeches, articles and words of advice, this section also has material about his books: ‘The nationalised industries: an analysis of the statutory provisions’ (2nd ed.) (1951), ‘Central and local government’ (1951), ‘Lessons of the British war economy’ (1951), ‘Questions in Parliament’ (1962), ‘The nationalisation of British industry, 1945-51’ (1975), ‘The English administrative system, 1780-1870’ (1981), ‘Economics, politics and social studies in Oxford, 1900-45’ (1986). There is also a wealth of material for a history of Nuffield College which was sadly never published.

H. Additional material: this last section is a miscellaneous collection of other documents, such as certificates and photographs, but also of various recordings of Chester over the years. These include speeches by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh and DNC on the occasion of the granting of a Charter to Nuffield College, 1958, a conversation between DNC and Austen Harrison recorded at Nuffield College, 1970 and a conversation between Sir Alec Cairncross and DNC [probably Autumn 1985]. There are also a couple of films which Chester was involved with: ‘Wheels of fortune’, a B.B.C. film about Lord Nuffield and ‘The Gov’nor: the story of William Morris, his motors and his millions’, by Rene Cutforth.


In addition to all of this he was a keen sportsman, with an abiding love of football. Harold Wilson persuaded him to chair a government committee of inquiry (1966–8) on association football and he was a key figure in football for the rest of his life. He served as chairman of the Football Grounds Improvement Trust and as deputy chairman of the Football Trust. Sorted out from the main archive collection for Chester, there were also 20 cartons of material which came from his interest in and service to football.  These were sent to the Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research at the University of Leicester in 1987.

As well as papers relating to the two official bodies he served on, there were papers from the official inquiries into the status and administration of the game, resulting in the two Chester Reports and from the Royal Commission on Gambling; reports and related papers of a large number of independent inquiries into aspects of the sport; material concerned with academic research into crowd behaviour at football matches and related soccer problems and miscellaneous personal material of Sir Norman Chester (match mementos, etc.); his collection of books on football and a large amount of handbooks, pamphlets, programmes, magazines and other football ephemera.

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From the Archive – Alexander Loveday

Alexander Loveday was the third warden of Nuffield College.


Born in Scotland in October 1888, he was educated at Shrewsbury School and Peterhouse College, Cambridge. After some years spent as a lecturer – first in political philosophy at Leipzig University, and then in economics at Cambridge – he entered the War Office in 1915, where he worked for the duration of the First World War.

In 1919, with that war at a close, he joined the Economic and Finance section of the newly-founded League of Nations. The League was an intergovernmental body formed as a result of the Paris Peace Conference. With offices in Geneva, its primary aim was to provide a forum for resolving international disputes, thereby promoting international co-operation in an attempt to prevent a repetition of the horrors of WW1.

The League also aimed to promote international cooperation in social and economic matters and it was in this arena that Loveday played a prominent role. He was appointed Director of the Financial Section and Economic Intelligence Section in 1931, and in 1939, during a period in which the League was undergoing reorganisation and scaling down its operations as a result of the outbreak of war in Europe, he became Director of the Economic, Financial and Transit Department.


League of Nations discussions over the Saar territory. Loveday is seated closest to the camera

Loveday continued to work for the League until shortly before its eventual demise (the League’s inability to prevent the outbreak of the Second World War was considered an irreparable failing, and though it maintained activity through the war, its powers were greatly reduced and the organisation finally officially ceased activity in 1946). Unsurprisingly then, Nuffield College Library’s Loveday archive collection offers excellent insight into the workings of this historic organisation, from its formation through to its untimely end; with documents indicating the Economic and Finance Section’s response to key historic events such as the Spanish Civil War, the Italian invasion of Abyssinia and the Greek invasion of Bulgaria, data collated for a number of League publications including the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, and information about research into topics ranging from nutrition to economic depressions.

After WW2 Loveday was briefly involved with the League’s replacement body, the UN, and worked for a short while in America, as a Member for the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, before taking up a Fellowship at Nuffield College in 1946. In 1950 he became the third warden of Nuffield, a position he would hold for four years until his eventual retirement in 1954. Whilst in this post he oversaw the latter stages of the building of College and continued to conduct research into a range of international economic matters, as well as helping to facilitate the research of other College members.

The archive contains much material related to Loveday’s working life, but also his personal life – including family photographs, diaries ranging from 1908-1962, sketch books and publications. As such, it offers a glimpse into the interests and activities of a figure who was often interestingly placed to view events of considerable historical significance.

If you would like to access material in the Loveday archive (which is currently undergoing a reorganisation) please contact the library at More information about the archives can be found by following this link:

In addition, the library also holds a number of Loveday’s longer publications within our main book collection. For example The only way: a study of democracy in danger (JC 421.L) and Reflections on international administration (JX 1905.L).

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Finding journals in the library

This post explains what journals are, where they are located in Nuffield College Library and how to search for them on the catalogue, SOLO.

What are journals?Question mark image

Journals fall under the umbrella term ‘periodicals’, meaning that they are a continuing publication. Continuing publications have a predicted publication schedule. The frequency at which they are published might be annual, once a month, or even every day. Journals tend to have chronology and enumeration, for instance volume 1, number 1 (January 2014).

Which journals does Nuffield College Library have?

The journals that Nuffield College Library collects cover the principal subject areas of the college, namely economics, politics, and sociology. Electronic journal coverage is provided by the Bodleian Libraries as part of University-wide provision.

Where are journals located in Nuffield College Library?Magnifying glass image

The most recent issues of journals that the library receives are on the 1st floor of the library in the Small Reading Room and are organised alphabetically by title. These are periodically moved up to the 2nd floor of the library where, again, they are organised alphabetically by title. Titles A-M are in the main reading room on the 2nd floor and titles N-Z in the tower and Cole Room. The library’s interactive map will help you to understand the floor plan. Pre-1980 journals are located separately to the main library collection in the extension.

The library’s journals all have a shelf mark beginning with ‘Per’ for ‘periodical’, followed by a letter for the title. The journal West European politics, for example, has the shelf mark Per W.

Some of the journals that the library receives are slightly larger in size and are kept in a separate sequence. This sequence starts at the end of the ‘normal-sized’ journal collection and is identifiable by its shelf mark. All of the larger journals’ shelf marks are prefixed with  a ‘q’ for quarto.

Shelf labels

NB. Some of the most popular journals are kept on a magazine rack in the library’s Current Affairs Room, which is on the 1st floor. Titles here include the Economist, Spectator, New Statesman, and Nouvel Observateur.

How do I find journals on the library catalogue?SOLO

The library’s journals can be searched for on the online catalogue SOLO. If known, the title of the journal can be typed into the catalogue’s search bar, otherwise a keyword search will locate journals of interest in your subject area. It is possible to limit the search to include only journals (i.e. excluding textbooks, theses, and other material) by choosing ‘Journals’ from the drop down menu before hitting the search button, as shown in the image below.

SOLO journals screen shot


Journals in the results list on the catalogue are identifiable by the icon next to the title, which says ‘journal’, shown in the image below.

SOLO journals results screen shot


To find out whether the journal is available, click ‘Find & Request’. Nuffield College Library will be listed if the journal is held here. Clicking on the ‘+’ button next to Nuffield College Library will expand the results screen giving further details including the shelf mark, which,  in the image below, is Per W.

SOLO shelf mark screen shot


Electronic journals can be found under the ‘Find e-Journal’ tab of OxLIP+, which provides access to databases, electronic reference works, e-Journals and eBooks.

Bound journals

A number of the library’s journal titles are bound. This means that, rather than have lots of issues on the shelf with the potential for getting misshelved or lost, journals issues are sent off to be bound together into one volume. This gives the journals a uniform appearance and protects the issues inside a tough cover. An example of bound titles can be seen below.

Binding image for blog

The bound item tends to reflect one volume of a journal. The spine might read ‘v. 17′, which means that it contains volume 17 of the journal title, and all of the issues within volume 17. If the journal issues are really thick, though, the volume might get split over two bound items, for example, the first item might have volume 17, issues 1-6 and the second would be volume 17, issues 7-12.

Where can I find help with journals?

Hopefully this guide will help you understand the library’s journal collection. If you have any questions, though, then contact the periodicals librarian: or phone 01865 278550.


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