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Sheppard: The Papers of John Tresidder Sheppard

Reference Code: GBR/0272/JTS

Scope and Contents

The collection contains mainly correspondence, with a handful of his writings, programmes for productions of Greek drama and photographs.
See also KCA


  • Creation: 1870 - 1968


Conditions Governing Use

All enquiries concerning permission to quote in print from the published or unpublished writings of John Tressider Sheppard should be addressed to The Archivist, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST.

Biographical / Historical

John Tresidder Sheppard was born on 7 November 1881. He was the fourth of five children of Alfred Henry Sheppard, a woolbroker’s clerk in London, and Harriet Winifred, daughter of a Baptist pastor. He attended Dulwich College, then won a scholarship to King’s, matriculating in 1900. During his undergraduate years he was elected to the Apostles (on the same day as Lytton Strachey); he was also influenced by Oscar Browning and Nathaniel Wedd, both Fellows at King’s during that time.

After a short time teaching Classics at Emmanuel College, he was elected to a Fellowship at King’s in 1906 and was a lecturer in Classics from 1908 to 1933. He translated Greek plays, and was involved as an actor and as producer of a number of plays in Cambridge. During the First World War he did intelligence work which earned him an MBE. Sheppard returned to Cambridge after the war, and was elected Vice-Provost in 1929. From 1933 to 1954 he was Provost of the College, acting as a father figure to many undergraduates. He also developed relationships between the College and other institutions, and encouraged foreign students to apply to King's. He was knighted in 1950 for services to Greek.

On his retirement from the Provostship in 1954 he stayed on at King’s for a short while, though the transition period was not easy. He continued to lecture throughout the country, and later moved to Cap Martin, France. He died in Finchley on 7 May 1968.


c. 5.5 archive box(es) (c. 5.5 boxes) : paper

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Sheppard bequeathed his papers to the College on his death in 1968. They were first sorted by L. Patrick Wilkinson, in preparation for writing his College obituary. A first list was prepared by the then Librarian, A. N. L. Munby, and one unidentified other in 1969.

Related Materials

Further Sheppard material is catalogued as COLL. 34/1-3a and in Misc. 33.

Related Materials

Patricia Easterling has written an article 'The Early Years of the Cambrige Greek Play: 1882-1912' published in 'Clasics in 19th and 20th Century Cambridge Curriculum, Culture and Community' ed. by Christopher Stray, The Cambridge Philological Society 1999, pp 27-47. King's College Library classmark NW CU JKT Z Str. The Bodleian Library, Oxford holds photographs of JTS, catalogued as BOD C 63/16 and 63/17.


For biographical information on John Tresidder Sheppard, the reader is refered to the following: Patrick Wilkinson: 'John Tresidder Sheppard 1881-1968' (King's College, Cambridge, 1969).


The current catalogue was completed in August 1997. A concordance of former and current reference numbers may be found in the paper version of the catalogue, held in the Archive Centre reading room.


Sheppard, John Tresidder (1881-1968)

1999-07-24 14:02:23+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archive Centre, King's College, Cambridge Repository

King's College
Cambridge CB2 1ST United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 331444