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BIRLEY, Sir Robert (1903-1982)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2107 Birley
Held at: City University
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Full title: BIRLEY, Sir Robert (1903-1982)
Date(s): 1924-1981
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 3 filing cabinet drawers
Name of creator(s): Birley | Sir | Robert | 1903-1982 | Knight | Professor of Education


Administrative/Biographical history:

Robert Birley began his career as a history teacher at Eton in 1926 and was then appointed headmaster of Charterhouse in 1935. During this time, he authored the Fleming Report, 1944, on the relationship between public schools and mainstream education. After World War Two, he became, in 1947, Educational Advisor for the Control Commission in the British Zone in Germany responsible for educational reconstruction. On his return to the UK in 1949 he was appointed headmaster of Eton, where he remained until 1963. He subsequently became a visiting Professor at Witwatersrand University, South Africa from 1964-1967, and was Professor and Head of Department of Social Science and Humanities at City University from 1967-1971. He wrote and lectured extensively on education, apartheid and human rights issues.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Robert Birley, 1924-1981, relating to his writing and speaking activities in the fields of education, including post-World War Two educational reconstruction in the British Zone of Germany; English universities in South Africa and apartheid; human rights issues. The papers comprise letters, manuscripts, typescripts of speeches and articles, related printed material, presscuttings and reprints of articles.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in files by topic or publication title.

Conditions governing access:

On written application to the University Librarian.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the University Librarian.

Finding aids:

List by S John Teague, 1986.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Borthwick Institute, York, holds political and research papers of Birley in regard to South Africa, 1945-1983 (Ref: BIR Acc, see also list at National Register of Archives, NRA 19618); Centre for South African Studies, University of York holds other papers of Birley; Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities holds papers of Walter Fraser Oakeshott, 1926-1986 which includes several letters, 1962-1965, from Sir Robert Birley regarding conflicts between English universities in South Africa and the South African government over apartheid and "liberalism." (Ref: Special Collections and Visual Resources Accession no. 900204).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

History and idealism: essays, addresses and letters - Robert Birley edited by Brian Rees (c1990).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Janet Foster, AIM25 Project Surveyor.

Rules or conventions:
NCA rules for construction of personal, place and corporate names (1997), and ISAD (G), Second edition.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Aug 2000

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