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The Papers of Asa Briggs relating to his biography of Michael Young

Reference Code: GBR/0014/BRIG

Scope and Contents

Mainly comprising correspondence between Asa Briggs and Michael Young, drafts, and research material, including originals and photocopies of documents sent by Michael Young and staff at the Institute of Community Studies in Bethnal Green from their archives to his biographer.


  • Creation: 1991 - 2002


Biographical / Historical

Asa Briggs was born in Keighley, Yorkshire, 7 May 1921, the son of William Walker Briggs and Jane Briggs. He was educated at Keighley Grammar School and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, BA, 1941; he also took an external degree at London University, BSc Economics, 1941. He married Susan Anne Banwell, 1955, with whom he had two sons and two daughters.

He served in the Intelligence Corps, 1942-5. He was a fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, 1945-55; Reader in Recent Social and Economic History, Oxford University, 1950-5; a faculty fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, 1953-5; a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1953-4; and Professor of Modern History, Leeds University, 1955-61.

He was Professor of History, 1961-76, Dean of the School of Social Studies, 1961-5, Pro Vice-Chancellor, 1961-7, and Vice-Chancellor, 1967-76, of Sussex University. He became Provost of Worcester College, Oxford, 1976-91, and Chancellor of the Open University, 1978-94.

He was created a life peer, as Lord Briggs of Lewes, 1976. He was an honorary fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, from 1968; Worcester College, Oxford, from 1969; and St Catharine's College, Cambridge, from 1977.

He died on 15 March 2016.

His publications include: (with Thomson and Meyer) "Patterns of Peace-making" (1945); "History of Birmingham 1865-1938" (1952); "Victorian People" (1954); "Friends of the People" (1956); "The Age of Improvement" (1959); editor, "Chartist Studies" (1959); (with John Saville) editor, "Essays in Labour History", 3 volumes (1960-77); editor, "They Saw it Happen, 1897-1940" (1961); "A Study of the Work of Seebohm Rowntree, 1871-1954" (1961); "History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom", 5 volumes (1961-95); "Victorian Cities" (1963); "William Cobbett" (1967); "How They Lived, 1700-1815" (1969); editor, "The Nineteenth Century" (1970); (with Susan Briggs) editor, "Cap and Bell" (1972); editor, "Essays in the History of Publishing" (1974); "Iron Bridge to Crystal Palace: impact and images of the Industrial Revolution" (1979); "Governing the BBC" (1979); "The Power of Steam" (1982); "Marx in London" (1982); "A Social History of England" (1983); "Toynbee Hall" (1984); "Collected Essays", 3 volumes (1985-91); "The BBC: the first fifty years" (1985); (with Joanna Spicer) "The Franchise Affair" (1986); "Victorian Things" (1988); "Haut Brion" (1994); "The Channel Islands, Occupation and Liberation, 1940-5" (1995); joint editor, "Fins de Si├Ęcle: how centuries end 1400-2000" (1996); (with Patricia Clavin) "Modern Europe 1789-1989" (1997); "Chartism" (1998); "Go To It! victory on the Home Front 1939-1945" (2000); "Michael Young, Social Entrepreneur" (2001); and (with Peter Burke) "A Social History of the Media" (2002).


10 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Asa Briggs, 2003.

Related Materials

The main archive of Asa Briggs's papers is held by the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.

Churchill Archives Centre holds the papers of Michael Young (reference: YUNG) and his wife Sasha Moorsom Young (reference: YONG).


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, March 2004, and she catalogued the collection, August 2023.


Briggs, Asa, 1921-2016, Baron Briggs of Lewes, historian

2004-02-11 10:25:52+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087