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Records of the Cambridge Ethical Society, 1888 - 1896

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SOC.74

Scope and Contents

From the Management Group:

The category - Student administration and support records - comprises records relating to student admissions at all levels, graduate students, visiting senior scholars, student careers advice and welfare, together with the records of clubs and societies.


  • Creation: 1888 - 1896


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (

Biographical / Historical

The club was formed on 1 May 1888 ''to stimulate interest in ethical questions and to afford facilities for their discussion''. It aimed to deepen ''the sense of moral obligation, especially in its social aspects''. It ran a programme of lectures and debates, which were generally chaired by Henry Sidgwick in his capacity as society president. Although the majority of society members were senior members, the society did actively seek to encourage junior members (and female students from Girton and Newnham colleges) by setting a reduced a reduced membership fee.


1 pamphlet(s) (1 pamphlet) : paper

3 volume(s)

1 item(s) (1 item)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The bindings of many of the items are in poor condition. They have adhered to each other and later been forced apart.

Former / Other Reference


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The minute book catalogued as SOC.74.2 was deposited before 1988 by an unknown person and was given the classmark Ms.Add.8776. It was transferred with the other items added to Ms.Add.8776 to the University Archives from the Manuscripts Department on 12 November 2007. These additional items had been given by Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick, widow of Henry Sidgwick, to William Ritchie Sorley, who succeeded Henry Sidgwick as Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy in 1909. Sorley presumably passed them to Richard Braithwaite, also Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy from 1953, for they were subsequently found in his papers and were presented by Professor Dorothy Emmet, lecturer in Philosophy of Religion, to the Manuscripts Department on 8 September 1988.

Related Materials

Further printed records are in the Rare Books Department, Cambridge University Library (classmark: Cambridge Papers J 3712).


The online catalogue entry was completed in November 2007.


Cambridge Ethical Society

Finding aid date

2007-11-08 10:52:53+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom