Fonds F0424 - R. H. Tawney fonds

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R. H. Tawney fonds

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0.36 m of textual records

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Richard Henry Tawney (1880-1962), educator and author, was born in India and educated at Oxford, where he was a teacher of the Tutorial Classes Committee (1908-1914). He later served as professor of economic history, University of London (1931-1962). Tawney was a member of the Workers' Educational Association executive (1905-1947) and served as president of the organization (1928-1944). The WEA was begun in 1903 as a means of bringing university education to workers' organizations, and Tawney served as tutorial leader through the tutorial classes offered by Oxford. The organization cooperated with several English universities in developing adult education programmes, as well as teaching its own programme. By 1950 over 150,000 students (half of whom were women) were engaged in adult education through the WEA-sponsored programmes, the majority of which took place outside the universities. Tawney was also an author whose long list of titles included, 'Religion and the rise of capitalism,' (1926), 'Business and politics under James the 1st : Lionel Cranfield as Merchant and Minister,' (1958), 'The acquisitive society,' (1937), 'Equality,' (1931) and several others.

Custodial history

The material was acquired and held by the Rare Books Room, York University Libraries before it was transferred to the University Archives.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, notes, a scrapbook, publications and galley proofs of publications, both by Richard Henry Tawney and by the Workers' Educational Association. For Tawney there are notes on a book about the economic thinker Henry George (which was apparently never written), chapters in typescript and handwritten for 'Equality,' and page proofs for 'Twentieth Century socialism,' as well as articles and reviews (in typescript and handwritten and published) for 'The highwayman,' (publication of the Workers' Educational Association), correspondence with colleagues in adult education and history, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings with some handwritten correspondence, relating to the Tawney family in England and India. For the Workers' Educational Association there are galleys of articles, and related correspondence for 'The highwayman'. There is also material of a general nature, including reports, correspondence and conference proceedings, and articles related to the education of trade unionists.

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Immediate source of acquisition

This material was transferred from the Rare Books Room, York University Libraries, in November, 1970.


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No restrictions on access.

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Associated materials

Further correspondence and papers of R.H. Tawney may be found at the University of London Institute of Education Archives, the British Library of Political and Economic Science and amongst the records of the Workers' Educational Association held by the TUC Library at the University of North London. In addition, his correspondence with a wide range of individuals is scattered throughout other archive collections including The British Library Oriental and India Office Collections (letters to Sir Richard Denman, 1900-1929); the Bodleian

Library (letters to John Hammond and corrrespondence with Gilbert Murray, 1917-1947); Rhodes House Library, Oxford (letters to Arthur Creech Jones, 1929-1961); National Library of Wales correspondence with Thomas Jones, 1909-1945); Marshall Library of Economics, Cambridge (letters to John Maynard Keynes, 1912-1946); John Rylands Library, Manchester (letters to the Manchester Guardian, 1908-1956); and the British Library Manuscript Collections (correspondence with Albert Mansbridge,


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The fonds comprises the following accession: 1970-003. No further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2002/04/08 Jizi Chen:. Word Perfect (Creation)
2002/04/08 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2003/02/25 Ken Hernden. Updated associated materials note and accruals.
2003/05/07 Shannon MacDonald. Added URL for online finding aid. Updated wording in extent.
2010/02/17 Dubeau. Description approved for transformation.
2014/07/22 Migrated to AtoM.
2018/12/10 KCP, N. Roz. Post-migration metadata clean-up. Addition of GMD and accession numbers. Published description and generated finding aid.

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