National Poetry Day

Yesterday was National Poetry Day and to celebrate we asked members of Nuffield College to share their favourite poems with us:

Juta Kawalerowicz chose “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll:

You can read the poem here

Giacomo Vagni chose “Si tu savais” by Robert Desnos:

Richard Johnson took a different approach and shared a haiku he composed in the library:

Alexander Gard-Murray submitted what is probably the first poem written about Nuffield College Library:

There once was a College Library

with more books than students could carry.

They’d while away hours

while locked in their towers

and then emerge slightly more hairy.

Robert Hellpap emailed to say:

“Steps by Hermann Hesse is one of my favorite poems since it nicely brings to the point the ever changing nature of life. It points out that change has two sides, the end or loss of something but also the opportunities and chances of new good things emerging from that”

You can read the poem here.

John Goldthorpe sent us “A Good Read / Social Mobility” by Tony Harrison


You can read a biography of Harrison on the Poetry Foundation page.

Claire Bunce (PA to the Warden & Bursar) contributed “On the Ning Nang Nong” by Spike Milligan, also available in here it is in musical and animated form

Not to be outdone, Library staff also contributed their favourite poems:

NB, the William Morris in question is “The Other William Morris”, NOT Lord Nuffield!

The poem can be read here

Tessa Richards submitted “Matilda who told such dreadful lies” by Hillaire Belloc, part of the collection “Cautionary Tales for Children”. (Image from the Project Gutenberg ebook)










Many thanks to everyone who submitted poems, we hope you enjoyed them!

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Nuffield College Library at Oxford Open Doors 2015

Grant of Viscountcy

Lord Nuffield’s Grant of Viscountcy, 1937 [LN 13/5*]

On Saturday the 12th of September, Nuffield College Library was open to the public as part of the Oxford Open Doors weekend.

Visitors were free to explore the library and learn about our work. There was an exhibition by Library staff on the life of Lord Nuffield (which, at the time of writing, is still available to view in the first floor corridor).

Display panel on Morris Motors

Display panel on Morris Motors

This was comprised of scanned material from our archives (photographs, letters and ephemera) and focused on various aspects of Lord Nuffield’s life. The picture on the left shows the panel on Morris Motors (the company founded by William Morris in 1912) includes pictures of the assembly line, Morris’ handwritten notes suggesting improvements to the “Morris Cowley” model and an enemy aerial spy photograph of the company’s Cowley factory.

Also on display were Lord Nuffield’s Grant of Viscountcy (see image at the top of this post) and his donation book, open to the “Oxford University” page. On the right hand page, sixth line from the top, you can see the donation of £1,000,000 for the founding of Nuffield College (over £63,000,000 in today’s money).

Lord Nuffield's donation book

Lord Nuffield’s donation book [LN 47]

The event was a success, attracting 361 visitors, who were very enthusiastic about the Library and views from the 10th floor of the Tower. A number of people had their own stories to tell us about their meetings and experiences with Lord Nuffield.

Lord Nuffield ExhibitionLord Nuffield Exhibition

To consult any of the Library’s archive material on Lord Nuffield, please contact A full catalogue of the Lord Nuffield papers can be found on our website.

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Duncan Gallie

Duncan Gallie

Duncan Gallie

Today Nuffield College hosts a workshop in honour of Duncan Gallie and his contribution to comparative economic sociology.

Professor Gallie joined Nuffield College as a Research Fellow in 1971, leaving in 1973. He returned as an Official Fellow in 1985 and became Professor of Sociology in 1996. He was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and a CBE in 2009. Recent research projects include EQUALSOC (Economic Change, Quality of Life and Social Cohesion) and the 2012 British Skills and Employment Survey. A Full biography can be found here.

He was also Fellow Librarian from 2001 until his retirement in 2014. Many of his books can be found in Nuffield College Library using the following link:


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ORCID at Oxford (Open Research and Contributor ID)

ORCID is a unique 16 digit researcher ID that you keep throughout your life.



Members of Oxford University may now register for an ORCID here:  (log in with Single Sign On)

If you have an existing ORCID, you may also authenticate your membership of Oxford University at the link above.

Why register for ORCID?

  • Disambiguation – stop being confused with researchers with the same surname and initial as you!
  • You can add your papers (& other works) to your profile, collating all your research in one place. There are several automatic tools to import your works from other sources e.g. SCOPUS.
  • ORCID is for life – if you move to a different institution, you take your ORCID with you.
  • Research funding bodies are integrating ORCID into their application processes.

Read more on the Open Access Oxford blog:

Or read the ORCID LibGuide here:

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A.H. (Chelly) Halsey

On the eve of his memorial service on Saturday 16th May we have been looking back at Chelly Halsey’s incredibly varied life and career, picking out key moments and publications as they relate to his academic and personal experiences.

No Discouragement is far more than the story of A.H. ‘Chelly’ Halsey – sanitary inspector’s apprentice, wartime airman, sociology student, academic-at-large, Oxford professor and, above all, Christian socialist” is how Roy Hattersley introduces the reader to Chelly’s enthralling autobiography.  He goes on to explain that “It describes the life and times of a man who typifies an almost extinct species….working-class boys, reared in the ‘culture of respectability’, who go on to achieve great academic distinction…Halsey retains the values of his childhood and expresses them without embarrassment”.

Chelly history of sociology

The Library holds many of Chelly’s other key works, including the eleven volumes of his published papers and book reviews from 1952-2005 (Nuf.Halsey (q)), ‘Change in British society’ (HN 390.H), ‘A history of sociology in Britain : science, literature, and society’   (HM 22.G7.H), ‘Education, economy, and society : a reader in the sociology of education’ (HM 32.H) and ‘Twentieth-century British social trends’ (HN 389.H).

Change in Br Soc 3 Change in Br Soc 2 Change in Br Soc 1

Family was always central to Chelly’s life and work, something reflected keenly in his autobiography ‘No discouragement’ (HM 22.G7.H) and ‘Changing childhood : a history of the Halsey family to 2009’ (Nuf.Halsey).  As he wrote in his autobiography “I can’t pretend to be calmly objective about my family and I can’t remember ever feeling anything but fiercely defensive about them… my instinct from an early age was to protect and defend my kin”.

Changing childhood, Chelly

Possibly of more personal interest to Nuffield members and alumni are his two works ‘Policy and politics : essays in honour of Norman Chester’ (JN 301.B) edited by himself & David Butler and ‘Essays on the evolution of Oxford and Nuffield College’ (LF 659.55.H).  Chelly first came to Oxford in 1962 as Director of Barnett House (Department of Social and Administrative Studies) and Fellow of Nuffield College.  He maintains in his autobiography that “Nuffield was undoubtedly the college leader of sociology in Oxford but, equally, Barnett House, linked to social policy and social work, was the university centre for sociological teaching and research”.  A perfect blend for a man who, in his own words, “was almost religiously devoted to the idea of spreading sociology as a mode of understanding the modern world”!

Chelly & Butler Chelly essays Oxford Nuffield

On 4th May 2003, Chelly appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.  There is a link to the recording here,, where you can listen to him talking to Sue Lawley about his fascinating life and times, hear his musical choices and find out what his chosen record, book and luxury were!

There are some lovely personal memories of Chelly from various Nuffielders in the Hilary 2015 Nuffield Newsletter.

The memorial service for Chelly will take place at St Mary the Virgin, University Church, (High Street, Oxford) on Saturday 16 May, 2:15 until 3:15 pm.

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Historical election material and propaganda

As May 7th draws ever closer, we thought we would take a look in the Nuffield College Libary archive collections to see what election material and propaganda consisted of in the days before social media, televised leaders’ debates, twenty-four hour new channels and online discussion forums.  The material also highlights the important issues of the day for past elections, which can be compared to today’s top concerns. While some of the collections have only a small amount of material, such as:

  • the 1945 General Election addresses of G.D.H. Cole (Cole, G.D.H., D2/7/6,7) and Herbert Morrison, Labour candidate, East Lewisham (H. Morrison, D3/12)
  • analysis of the 1964 election results (H. Morrison, B1/56, B1/57-59, B1/60) and H. Fairlie’s analysis of the 1955 election prospects in the Daily Mail (H. Morrison, B1/5)
  • press cuttings about individuals’ election campaigns, such as John Seely’s candidature for the Isle of Wight constituency in 2 general elections 1923 & 1924 (Mottistone, 40)

Others hold much more information and examples of election material such as leaflets, posters, speeches and other propaganda.

Willet Ball, 1873-1962 (part of the Small collections)

Willet Ball was born in Lincoln in 1873 and received his education at Lincoln Middle School.  In 1888 he began work as a clerk for the Great Northern Railway Company and in 1893 he joined the National Union of Railwaymen and Social Democratic Federation.  In 1900 Ball became sub-editor of the Railway Review, which he then went on to edit between 1917 and 1933.  He stood as the Labour candidate for the Luton division of Bedfordshire in December 1918 and December 1923.  This collection contains:

  • Letter to the electors from Willet Ball, the Labour candidate for Luton Division of Bedfordshire, 1918 (D/31)
  • Book of stamps for sale in aid of Luton Divisional Labour Party, fighting funds for Ball, 1918 (D/32)
  • General election leaflet promoting Willet Ball, 1918 (D/34)
  • South Beds parliamentary election letter to “our soldiers and sailors” from Willett Ball, 1918 (D/35)
  • Luton Division parliamentary election letter to the electors from Willet Ball, 1923 (D/36)
D/34 General election leaflet promoting Willet Ball, 1918

D/34 General election leaflet promoting Willet Ball, 1918

D/36 Luton Division parliamentary election letter to the electors from Willet Ball, 1923

D/36 Luton Division parliamentary election letter to the electors from Willet Ball, 1923

D/32 Book of stamps for sale in aid of Luton Divisional Labour Party,

D/32 Book of stamps for sale in aid of Luton Divisional Labour Party,

By far the biggest collection of election material, however, is in the Gainford collection.

Gainford, Lord (1860-1943)

This collection covers the papers of Lord Gainford (1860-1943), including 6 members of the Gainford family: Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease, 1st Bt. (1828-1903), his wife Mary (1835-1892), Joseph Albert Pease, 1st Baron Gainford (1860-1943), his wife Ethel (Elsie) (1867-1941), Miriam Blanche Pease (1887-1965) and Joseph Pease, 2nd Baron Gainford (1889-1971).  The collection contains correspondence, papers and publications about the family businesses, the economy, local and national politics and the two world wars, giving a valuable insight into social and political history from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries.

Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease’s papers contain election papers, canvassing documents, speeches and cartoons, 1833 – 1902.  His son, Joseph Albert Pease (JAP), had even more involvement in political life however as, between 1892 and 1916, he was Liberal M.P. Tyneside Division, Northumberland, Liberal M.P. Saffron Walden Division, Essex and Liberal M.P. Rotherham Division, W.R. Yorkshire.  His papers contain material such as political speeches, press cuttings of his first parliament (1893-1985), correspondence to the elecorate and other politicians (1891-1916), canvassing rules, Tyneside Liberal Association rules, notebook, election expenses & chequebook, results and figures (1892, 1895 & 1900). Much of the election material and propaganda is from the Saffron Walden elections, 1901, 1906 & 1910.  This includes a selection of posters, large and small, for the 1900 General Election, including ‘The Tories nation of peace and goodwill’ (114) and even some anti-Liberal propaganda!

Gainford 117/19  Election propaganda against JAP

Gainford 117/19 Election propaganda against JAP

Gainford 114 / Election poster, 1900

Gainford 114 / Election poster, 1900

Gainford 114 / Election poster, 1900

Gainford 114 / Election poster, 1900

Gainford 114 / Election poster 1900

Gainford 114 / Election poster 1900

Other items of interest include party songs, letters to the electorate, flyers and even party badges and a cloth election poster for JAP.

Gainford 117/11 JAP election badge

Gainford 117/11 JAP election badge

Gainford 117/8 Election flyer, 1910

Gainford 117/8 Election flyer, 1910

Gainford 115/22 Liberal Party flyer

Gainford 115/22 Liberal Party flyer

Gainford 111/98 Liberal Party election song

Gainford 111/98 Liberal Party election song

Gainford 112/15 Liberal Party songs

Gainford 112/15 Liberal Party songs

Gainford 113/3 Cloth election poster for JAP

Gainford 113/3 Cloth election poster for JAP

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