Skip to main content

Cambridge University Libraries are providing a blend of online and controlled in-person services. Please see our website for more details.

Barker : papers and artefacts.

 Management Group
Reference Code: GBR/0273/BARKER MSS

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises manuscripts, typescripts, offprints, reviews, insignia, etc. The categories below are, of their nature, not watertight, but cross-references have been supplied wherever possible. References to 'Age and Youth' are to Sir Ernest's memoirs published in 1953. The book includes his earlier, 1948, memoir, 'Father of the man', references to which are given as in the composite volume.


  • 1873 - 2009

Biographical / Historical

Ernest Barker was born on 23 September 1874 at Woodley, Cheshire, the eldest of the seven children of George Barker, a miner turned farm labourer, and Elizabeth Pollitt. From the village school he proceeded to Manchester Grammar School and then to Balliol as a classical scholar (1893), then Craven scholar (1895) and Jenkyns exhibitioner (1897). After firsts in both parts of classics he read for the school of modern history receiving a further first in 1898. He was a prize fellow of Merton from 1898 to 1905, lecturer in modern history at Wadham, 1899-1909 and tutor of non-collegiate students 1899-1913, fellow of St John’s, Oxford, 1909-13. and of New College, 1913-20. From 1920 to 1927 he was Principal of King’s College London and from 1927 to 1939 he was the first holder of the newly endowed Professorship of Political Science at Cambridge. During the second World War, as during the first, Barker performed a number of public duties and produced patriotic writings. In Cambridge he was director of studies for the War Office courses in military and political studies. In 1943 he became chairman of the Books Commission, charged with collecting books and periodicals for restocking bombed libraries in allied countries. For this work he was knighted in 1944. In 1947 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. He had been D.Litt. at Oxford since 1922 and incorporated the degree in Cambridge in 1928. He was awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Edinburgh, Harvard, Calcutta, Dalhousie and Salonica and, among other foreign distinctions was a member of the order of the White Lion (Czechoslovakia) and the King Haakon VII liberty cross (Norway). Married (1) Emily Isabel Salkeld (d. 1924) in 1900; (2) Olivia Stuart Horner (d. 1976) in 1927. He died in Cambridge on 17 February 1960. The titles of many of his works will be found in the reviews listed below. Over the years Sir Ernest employed a number of press-cutting agencies; details of these are generally not here given.


1.6 linear metre(s) (1.6 metres) : Paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

Pet.MS 975

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by his son by his second marriage, Nicolas John Barker, March 1977, with a further deposit by his daughter, of the same marriage, Lady Juliet Beamont, in 2009.


Barker, Sir Ernest (1874-1960) political theorist

2015-06-18 12:19:17+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Peterhouse (Ward) Library Repository

Ward Library
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RD United Kingdom
+441223 338218