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Personal Papers of Cynthia Mary Crews, 1901 - 1979

Reference Code: GBR/0271/GCPP Crews

Scope and Contents

The papers listed here include some personal and biographical records; correspondence relating chiefly to Dr Crews' work on Judaeo-Spanish; published articles; and substantial quantities of material in Judaeo-Spanish collected by Dr Crews, which is of considerable importance because of the scarce survival of such material. The headnotes in the sub-sections are largely adapted from Elizabeth Brine's Handlist of the Crews Papers in Girton College Library, published in Estudios Sefardies 1979 (see GCPP Crews 3/2).


  • Creation: 1901 - 1979


Biographical / Historical

Cynthia Mary Crews (nee Jopson) was born in Liverpool on 31 March 1906, the daughter of Samuel Robson Jopson, foreign commercial traveller, and Mary Alice Brooke. She was educated at the Belvedere School in Liverpool before coming up to Girton College in 1924 with the Ashworth Hallett Scholarship. Placed in the first class in both parts of the Modern Languages Tripos, she took her degree in 1928, and a PhD in London in 1930. In 1931 she married Dudley Clavell Crews but later divorced. She then married Jacques Andre Golse in 1946 and later divorced again, but she continued to be known as Mrs Crews. Cynthia Crews was a student of many languages. From early in her career she specialised in Judaeo-Spanish (the language spoken by the descendents of the Spanish Jews banished in the later Middle Ages), undertaking some of her early research at the University of Bucharest. She published widely on the language and collected materials for a dictionary (see GCPP Crews 4/1). She moved about in a variety of teaching and research appointments in England, France and Ireland, teaching and lecturing in French, German and Spanish. She returned to Girton as Pfeiffer Research Fellow in 1937-39, but left on the outbreak of war to work in the Censorship (Postal Censorship, Uncommon Languages Department, 1939-40), as a Teacher of English (for the British Council in Turkey, 1940-42), and for the BBC (as Sub-Editor for Turkish, Near East Section, 1943-45). Subsequently her work at Leeds University as Lecturer, then Reader in Romance Philology, enabled her to continue her research and to enjoy teaching at all levels. Cynthia Crews still had a number of research projects in hand when she died in Leeds on 8 September 1969.


21 archive box(es) (21 boxes) : paper

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

The papers were originally listed by Elizabeth Beckingham (nee Brine), Cynthia Mary Crews Bye-Fellow, in the 1970s. This classified catalogue, based on EB's work and expanded and reorganised in parts, was produced in 2007 by Joan Bullock-Anderson.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequeathed by Cynthia Crews in 1969.

Related Materials

Papers relating to Cynthia Crews' estate, to the publication of Miscelanea Crews and to attempts to publish a Judeo-Spanish dictionary based on her unpublished work are listed at GCAR 2/6/68.


Material from GCPP Crews 5/1-2 (Salonican stories and photographs) has been published: Anna Angelopoulos 'Contes judeo-espanols des Balkans' (Paris: Jose Corti 2009)


Crews, Cynthia Mary (1906-1969) nee Jopson, linguist

Finding aid date

1998-09-03 13:40:49+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Girton College Archive Repository

The Archivist
Girton College Archive
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0JG United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 338897