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Archives of the Faculty of English, 1900 - 2003

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/ENGL

Scope and Contents

The records document the full range of institutional operations, from delivery of the curriculum and examining at undergraduate and graduate level to the making of appointments and promotions.


  • Creation: 1900 - 2003


Conditions Governing Access

Within the archives of the Faculty of English, certain records are closed to scholars for 50 years from the date of creation under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, 2000: section 41, information given in confidence, or for 80 years from the date of creation under data protection legislation. Restrictions are clearly indicated in catalogue entries.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to publish text should be addressed to the Keeper of Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR.

Biographical / Historical

The formal study of English by undergraduates began in 1884 as a option, highly linguistic and philological, within the Medieval and Modern Languages Tripos. In 1917, the greater study of literature was facilitated with the establishment of the English Tripos, intended to be taken after a Part I in another subject, usually Classics. It took the more usual form of a two part Tripos from 1926 onwards. The first chair in English, the King Edward VII Professorship of English Literature, was endowed by Harold Harmsworth in 1911 in memory of the late King. The Professorship was attached to the Special Board for Medieval and Modern Languages until 1927 when it was transferred to the Faculty of English. The Faculty shared administrative space with other arts subjects in the Faculty Rooms in Laundress Lane until 1961 when it moved into the Raised Faculty Building on the Sidgwick Site. It was subsequently accommodated in a Victorian villa at 9 West Road from 1976 until 2002 when the villa was demolished to make way for a new Faculty building, completed in 2004. Between 2002 and 2004 the Faculty was housed at 27 Trumpington Street. From Summer 2004, the Faculty resumed occupancy of 9 West Road. For further background information, see Stefan Collini 'Cambridge and the study of English' in Sarah J. Ormrod (ed.) Cambridge Contributions (CUP 1998) pp.42-64; Stephen Heath 'Cambridge English' in Richard Mason (ed.) Cambridge Minds (CUP 1994) pp.20-33; E.M.W. Tillyard The Muse Unchained (Bowes and Bowes 1958).


30 linear metre(s) : paper and vinyl

Language of Materials



The original compositions have been placed in a separate section, reflecting their earlier accession. The remainder of the archive is categorised by function.

Other Finding Aids

Certain minute books were catalogued as part of the University Archives' Min.V and VIII series in 1997-8 and have been reclassified for inclusion in this expanded catalogue of the entire archive. ENGL 1 was first catalogued in January 2000. A hard copy version of this catalogue is available for consultation in the Reading Room of the Department of Manuscripts and University Archives (ref.: UA In.33).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The archives have been transferred in batches from the Faculty as follows: ENGL 2/1/1-3, 2/10/1 by Professor J. Mann on 20 Oct. 1997; ENGL 2/1/4-13, 2/10/2, 3/23, 3/34/1-4, 3/43/5, 6/1/3 by the same on 31 Mar. 1998; ENGL 1 by Mrs Mariella Pellegrino, English Faculty Library in 1999; the vast bulk of the archive by Mrs Claire Daunton, Faculty Administrative Officer, with the assistance of Mrs Margaret Harrison, on 15 Apr. 2002; ENGL 8/15 by Ms Heidi Hume on 6 Oct. 2003; ENGL 2/1/14-15, 2/10/3 by Mrs Margaret Harrison on 26/8/04; ENGL 3/61 by C. Daunton on 18/8/05; ENGL 2/1/16-17, 2/3/29-35, 2/14/5-7, 3/1/33-8, 3/62-3, 5/2 (addnl), 5/3 (addnl) 5/6-7, 6/29-30 by M. Harrison on 21 Dec. 2005. The records are a permanent transfer to the University Archives. Mr J.H. Prynne, Emeritus Reader in English Poetry, Life Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, presented ENGL 3/7/3 on 16 Dec. 2015.

Related Materials

See also the following related records among the University Archives: Char.I.24; Endow.II.47-8, 51; Misc.Collect.64-75; O.VII.75, IX.98-100; Phot.7; R.3672; Reports (passim); VCCorr.IV.2/21.


The online catalogue was completed in March 2004 and emended in August 2004, February 2005, January 2006, January 2008 and May 2016.

Date information

DateText: earliest date is that of a prize register compiled retrospectively, the majority of records date from 1926 onwards.


Faculty of English

Finding aid date

2000-01-26 09:52:54+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom