Graphical version

National Maritime Museum

Lewis, Professor Michael Arthur (1890-1970)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 LES

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Lewis, Professor Michael Arthur (1890-1970)

Date(s): 20th century

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 8 boxes, 2 bundles

Name of creator(s): Lewis | Michael Arthur | 1890-1970 | naval historian


Administrative/Biographical history:

Michael Arthur Lewis was a prominent naval historian, educator, and writer. In 1913, he joined the staff of the Royal Naval School at Osborne, and transferred to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth in 1922. From 1934 to his retirement in 1955, he was Professor of Naval History and English at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. He died in 1970. He was, as some items of correspondence he received shows, an active member of the Society for Nautical Research. He was also heavily involved in the Navy Records Society, for whom he edited a manuscript written by Admiral William Henry Dillon which is listed here as LES/6/7. He had close professional ties to many other naval historians, including Sir Geoffrey Callender (1875-1946), the first chair of Naval History at Greenwich and the founding director of the National Maritime Museum; Sir Julian Corbett (1854-1922), lecturer at the Royal Naval War College, Greenwich; Lieutenant Commander George Prideaux Brabant Naish (1909-1977), Keeper and Historical Consultant to the Director at the National Maritime Museum; Roger Charles Anderson (1883-1976), Trustee of the National Maritime Museum and Chairman of Trustees 1959-1962; Leonard Carr-Laughton, Admiralty Librarian; and David Bonner-Smith, one of Carr-Laughton's successors as Admiralty Librarian.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Michael Arthur Lewis. The collection reflects the records made and collected by a working historian. It includes: a small amount of material related to his personal life; files of notes, research material, photographs, plans, sketches, and correspondence probably used to produce his books; correspondence with other naval historians and enthusiasts; manuscripts and typescripts of monographs and essays; and a collection of transcripts and manuscripts of historical source material.

Close ties to his colleagues allowed Professor Lewis to accumulate research materials, notes, and typescripts they created; item descriptions note the actual or likely creator of these collected materials. Bundles of notes or correspondence often contain other material, including photographs, plans, and sketches; letters; articles; and manuscript or typescript drafts. Descriptions list the type, but not content, of this additional material. Items in LES/2 (research materials) may complement items in LES/3 (correspondence).


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .

An overview of the collection appears in Volume 2 of the GUIDE TO THE MANUSCRIPTS IN THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM, edited by R.J.B. Knight.


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Professor Lewis's son, Dr. Jonathan LEWIS, presented his father's papers to the Museum on his death in 1970.


Related material:

Interested researchers may also wish to consult the following records held at the National Maritime Museum: Navy Records Society (NRS) (with permission of its Honorary Secretary); Society for Nautical Research (SNR); Naish, Lieutenant Commander George Prideaux Brabant (NAI); Corbett, Sir Julian (COR); Anderson, Roger Charles (AND).


Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2011-05-16

Naval history | History

Personal names
Lewis | Michael Arthur | 1890-1970 | professor

Corporate names