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The Papers of Asa Briggs

Reference Code: GBR/0014/BRIG

Scope and Contents

Papers relating to a biography of Michael Young, comprising drafts, notes and correspondence.


  • 1991 - 2002


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is closed until it has been catalogued.

Conditions Governing Use

Once the collection has been opened, researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

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 is an honorary fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 1968-; Worcester College, Oxford, 1969-; and St Catharine's College, Cambridge, 1977-.

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).


18 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of this collection level description are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre also holds the papers of Michael Young.


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, March 2004. Information was obtained from "Who's Who" (A and C Black).


Briggs, Asa, b 1921, 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