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The Papers of James Cornford

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CNFD

Scope and Contents



  • Creation: 1960 - 1990


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is closed until 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

James Cornford was born in London on 25 January 1935, the son of (Rupert) John Cornford and Rachel Peters. He was educated at Dartington Hall School; King's College School; Winchester College; and Trinity College, Cambridge. He married Amanda Goodfellow, in 1960, with whom he had one son and three daughters.

He undertook postgraduate work at Trinity College, Cambridge; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Chicago, 1958-64. He was a Lecturer in Politics, 1964-8, and Professor, 1968-76, at Edinburgh University. He was also a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, 1975-6.

In 1976, he took up the post of Director of the Outer Circle Policy Unit established by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He went on to become Director of the Nuffield Foundation, 1980-8; Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, 1989-94; and Director of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, 1994-7. He briefly served as an adviser to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, David Clark, 1997-8.

He was also Chairman of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, 1984-97; Literary Editor and Chairman of The Political Quarterly, 1976-99; Chairman of the Southern African Advanced Education Project, 1990-9; Director and Chairman of Job Ownership Ltd, 1979-2002; Deputy Director and Chair of Trustees of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, from 2000; and Trustee and Chairman of the Dartington Hall Trust, 1998-2008.

He died on 26 September 2011.


23 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of the collection level description are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, and on the Janus website.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Tom Cornford, 2014.


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, August 2014. The collection is uncatalogued. Biographical information was obtained from the website of Who's Who and James Cornford's obituary in The Guardian.

Date information

DateText: 1960s-1990s.


Cornford, James Peters, 1935-2011, academic and social reformer

2014-08-27 10:00:14+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