Celebrating National Libraries Day – Behind the Scenes at Nuffield College Library: Archive collection

Celebrating National Libraries Day – Behind the Scenes at Nuffield College Library: Archive Collections

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Snapshot of archive collection

The archive collection at Nuffield College Library is an eclectic mix of material which has been donated and collated over the past 60+ years.  It includes the large and well used collections of William Morris, Lord Nuffield, founder of the College and hugely influential motoring industrialist and educational and medical philanthropist; Frederick Lindemann (Lord Cherwell), scientific adviser to Winston Churchill during the Second World War; G.D.H. Cole, Fellow of the College, an influential academic, leading Fabian, and guiding light of several left-wing groups, whose book collection greatly enlarged and improved the Library back in the 1950s and William Cobbett, radical political journalist, passionate farmer and a strong advocate of parliamentary reform.  We also hold many of his books and pamphlets.

There are many other less well-known collections though, including:

African Trade Unions (1949-1969), a miscellaneous collection of documentation relating to and about trade unions in various African nations, 1949 to 1969,  varying from constitutions to publications, press cuttings to legislation and manifestos to speeches.

Margaret Cole (1893-1980), wife of G.D.H. Cole and an important and distinguished figure in her own right. She was a prolific writer and her works encompassed biography, labour history and (with her husband) detective fiction. In addition, she was an influential figure in education and she was a prominent Fabian for over half a century.

David Davies (1742-1819) (Small Collection), a welsh clergyman in the Church of England, this collection contains some of his primary research into his important work on social history, ‘The case of labourers in husbandry stated and considered’, published in 1795.

Lord Emmott (1858-1926), British businessman and Liberal politician, this collection has some interesting correspondence with Lord Rosebery and with Liberal Imperialist M.P.’s opposed to Campbell-Bannerman’s leadership of the party, as well as correspondence on the 1907-1908 Education Bills and the Congo Reform Association. There is also a great deal of correspondence about the work of the Imperial War Relief Fund, the Save the Children Fund and the All-British Appeal Fund in 1921-1922.  There are also diaries, a collection of press cuttings and miscellaneous items such as photographs, certificates and illuminated addresses.

Gainford/Pease, a mixed collection of 6 family members papers dating from 1860-1943 covering topics such as local politics, the development of the railways and the highs and lows of the family businesses.  A great insight into 19th century English social history.

Lord Mottistone (John Seely), documents covering 1868-1947 including general correspondence, political papers, official papers, military papers, literary papers and press cuttings.  Mottistone was a soldier in the Boer and First World Wars, an M.P., served in the Colonial Office, War Office, was Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Munitions (W.S. Churchill) and from January 1st 1919 to December 22nd 1919 he was Under-Secretary of State for Air.

This is just a snippet of the material available, so please visit our archive home page for more information and consult our archive guide for information about accessing the collections.

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About Nuffield College Library

We are a social sciences library serving Nuffield College and the University of Oxford
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