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Chambers Papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0103 CHAMBERS
Held at: University College London
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Full title: Chambers Papers
Date(s): c1894-1942
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 32 boxes
Name of creator(s): Chambers | Raymond Wilson | 1874-1942 | Professor of English Language and Literature
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Raymond Wilson Chambers studied at University College London (UCL), 1891-1899, and was appointed Quain Student in English there in 1899. He stayed at UCL and was Librarian from 1901 to 1922. He was also Assistant Professor in the English Department, 1904-1914. In 1915 he became Reader in English. From 1915 to 1917 he served for a time with the Red Cross in France, and with the YMCA with the British Expeditionary Force in Belgium. In 1922 he became Quain Professor of English at UCL in succession to W P Ker. In 1933 he visited the USA to deliver the Turnbull lectures in Baltimore. He published Widsith: a study in Old English herioc legend in 1912, Beowulf: an introduction to the study of the poem, with a discussion of the stories of Offa and Finn in 1921, Life of More in 1932, Thomas More in 1935, and Man's unconquerable mind in 1939. Chambers retired in 1941 and died in 1942. The fullest account of Chambers' life is given by C J Sisson in the Proceedings of the British Academy, vol xxx (1944), pp 427-39, with a bibliography by H Winifred Husbands.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, c1894-1942, of Raymond Wilson Chambers, including papers on all Chambers' major published works, and on his unpublished work with J H G Grattan on the Piers Plowman A-text. There is also a good deal of correspondence with friends, students and fellow scholars. Extensive family correspondence includes letters written home by Chambers when he was a student at UCL, and wartime letters from France and Belgium in 1916-1917. Also includes a small but valuable collection concerned with the study of Sir Thomas More.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Open. The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Finding aids:

The Papers of Raymond Wilson Chambers (1874-1942), compiled by Janet Percival (The Library, University College London, Occasional Publication no 4, 1978).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented by Chambers' executors shortly after his death. Supplemented soon afterwards by a bequest from Dr E Hitchcock, who had worked with Chambers for many years in the Department of English.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Special Collections holds Chambers' books comprising approx. 600 items.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

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Date(s) of descriptions:

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