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Wollheim Papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0103 WOLLHEIM
Held at: University College London
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Full title: Wollheim Papers
Date(s): 1894-2003
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 41 boxes
Name of creator(s): Wollheim | Richard Arthur | 1923-2003 | philosopher
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Richard Arthur Wollheim was born in London on 5 May 1923, the second son of Eric Wollheim (b. 1879) and Constance, née Baker (b. 1891). Although of German Jewish descent, Wollheim was raised to be Christian and later became an atheist. He was educated at Westminster School and at Balliol College, Oxford. His university studies were interrupted by the Second World War; he joined the Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1942, participated in the Normandy landings, and was captured by the Germans in August 1944, but managed to escape within a few days. After the war he returned to Balliol and achieved first-class degrees in history (1946) and philosophy, politics, and economics (1948). He joined the philosophy department at UCL in 1949 initially as an assistant lecturer. He became Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic and head of department in 1963. After retiring from University College in 1982 he moved to the United States, first as professor at Columbia University, from 1982 to 1985, and then as professor at the University of California, Berkeley, until 2002. He was also visiting professor in philosophy and the humanities at the University of California, Davis (1989-96). Wollheim married Anne Barbara Denise Toynbee (1920-2004) on 15 August 1950. They had twin sons, Bruno and Rupert. The marriage was dissolved in 1967, and two years later he married Mary Day Lanier, a potter. They had one daughter, Emilia. He died after a short illness at his home in London on 4 November 2003. He was survived by Mary Day and his three children. Source: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Richard Wollheim. Includes correspondence on various personal and professional matters; research notes; drafts of his novels (published and unpublished; drafts of his autobiography (published posthumously as "Germs"); drafts of his published essays and reviews; drafts of lectures and conference papers, including the "Thread of Life" series and the Mellon lectures.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Original order.

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:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

Full catalogue available online

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented by the family, January 2005.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Oxford DNB

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:
Sep 2008; updated July 2018

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