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Personal Papers of Helen McMorran, 1869 - 1975

Reference Code: GBR/0271/GCPP McMorran

Scope and Contents

The papers catalogued here comprise material arising from Helen McMorran's various College offices, together with correspondence; poems; cuttings and offprints; and ephemera such as play and concert programmes.


  • 1869 - 1975


Biographical / Historical

Helen McMorran was born in India, the daughter of Thomas McMorran, East India merchant, and Louise Maud White. She and her siblings (two sisters and a brother named Tom) grew up in the family home, Frithwood House, Northwood, Middlesex. She was educated at Sutton High School and came to Girton to read Modern Languages, 1916-19. Her younger sisters also studied at Girton (Louise Margaret McMorran, Girton 1921, and Isabella Renwick McMorran, Girton 1923). Helen trained as a librarian at University College, London 1919-20 and was Assistant Librarian at Bedford College, London, 1921-28. She then travelled for a year in India before coming back to Girton as a Fellow and Librarian in 1930. Shortly afterwards she supervised the move to a new College Library, the anonymous gift of her father, Thomas McMorran (an extension was added in the sixties through the generosity of Helen McMorran herself). Her professional standards were legendary throughout College, not only as Librarian (1930-62) but also as editor of the Girton Review (1932-63) and editor (with K T Butler) of the Girton College Register (1948). In addition she was Vice-Mistress, 1946-62, and Registrar of the Roll, 1947-69. She was described by her obituarist, Muriel Bradbrook, as both austere and a connoisseur of excellence, combining great dignity with great modesty, 'the Girton she knew is now part of history'. On her retirement in 1962, she became a Life Fellow of the College until her death in 1985.


2 archive box(es) (2 boxes) : Paper

1 file(s)

Language of Materials



This collection was re-catalogued in August 2017, by Tilly Burn, Archives Assistant (Projects).


McMorran, Helen Isabella, 1898-1985, librarian

Finding aid date

2017-07-11 13:39:12+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Girton College Archive Repository

The Archivist
Girton College Archive
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