– notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, Oxford. Opinions expressed are strictly the author's own!

Author Archive


Unlocking Archives: Special Edition

Wednesday 20 April 2016, 1-2pm

Balliol College Historic Collections Centre

St Cross Church, Manor Road OX1 3UH


Prof. Daniel Wakelin and Anna Sander in conversation with Oxford undergraduate, MSt and DPhil students about creating, using and sharing digital images of medieval manuscripts, during a lunchtime break in a day of handling training and photography of some of Balliol’s medieval manuscripts.

We will be discussing questions including: What can digital images tell us about the original manuscript, and what can they not tell us? What information is only available from the manuscript itself, and are there kinds of information we can only get from digital images? What are the differences between professional and amateur (i.e. by researchers or curators) photographs of manuscripts? Do they have different uses/ advantages/ disadvantages? What are the practicalities of photographing medieval manuscripts for research purposes under ordinary reading room conditions?

It’s unusual to have a room full of people all photographing medieval manuscript books at the same time with similar aims, i.e. a combination of their own research interests,  theoretical considerations about the process and practical concerns about what works and what doesn’t – and talking to each other about it! We hope the morning session will spark new ideas and lead to further discoveries in the afternoon session.

Prof. Wakelin and Bodleian colleagues Judith Siefring and Christine Madsen have created an experimental space for #DIYDigitization on Flickr – more about that project here.

All welcome to the lunchtime discussion! We hope to illustrate with some manuscript images taken during the morning session.

Treasures of Balliol Archives & MSS

Slides with captions from an illustrated talk given today at the St Margaret’s Institute, Polstead Road, Oxford. Dr John Jones spoke first, about the genesis and realisation of the St Cross building project, and I followed up with an overview of some treasures from the archives and manuscripts, and the kinds of research and related activities that go on through the year at St Cross.



images: an estate map, part of the ornate C18 register of contributions to the silver fund by Fellow Commoners; a page from a C17 lending register from the College Library


The oldest document at Balliol


Dervorguilla’s Statutes of 1282


Detail of above, showing general appearance of late C13 documentary hand and the name of Dervorguilla


Detail of Dervorguilla’s personal seal


The Charter of Incorporation of 1588 is so large it had to be photographed outside – this was in the days when the archives were kept in a very small and rather dark room under the stairs to Hall. How things have changed in 5 years!


Detail of the inhabited initial of the Charter of Incorporation: portrait of Elizabeth I.


Detail of much-worn but intact Great Seal of Elizabeth I, attached to Charter of Incorporation by black and white wool cords


‘Ichnographia’, a ground plan of Balliol College from 1695


College Meeting minutes of a century ago: April 1916



Photos are a key part of several series of the college’s archive, including Membership, Sports & Societies, Buildings etc. Here, a photo from the Torpids (spring) of 1896.


Rare photos of the Balliol Boys’ Club’s summer camps – dates, locations, photographers and subjects unknown.




Balliol MS 451


Balliol MS 384


Balliol MS 232B


Balliol MS 317


Balliol MS 301


Balliol MS 173A


Browning family letters



Browning poetic mss


My favourite C20 treasure – surprise surprise, FF Urquhart’s photo albums


the business of St Cross: learning and teaching – tutors and students from Balliol, Oxford and further afield encounter original sources at first hand


displays for group visits: providing and/or supporting talks


hosting external academic study days on relevant subjects


twice termly Unlocking Archives talks: hosting and contributing to current researchers’ talks for a lunchtime seminar open to all


want to stay in touch and find out more? social media: twitter @balliolarchives


this blog!


80 000 images on Flickr and counting

Curious? Become one of 1000 people a year to send an enquiry to Balliol’s archivist by email (or post, but email is preferred); one of 1000+ a year to visit the archives to see the church, hear a talk or view an exhibition; or one of 100 a year to consult archives and manuscripts in person for academic research.


Hopkins’ Leaves

Unlocking Archives:  a seminar series about current research in Balliol College’s special collections

Professor Lesley J Higgins will speak on ‘Spelt from Hopkins’ Leaves: Considering Archival “Remains” at Balliol College’s Historic Collections Centre in St Cross Church on Monday 27 June 2016, 1-2 pm. All welcome, no booking required.

What can be learned from three sketchbooks, a family commonplace book, a handful of letters, an essay notebook, and a few other “scraps, orts and fragments”? The Hopkins “remains” at Balliol, although comparatively few, have much to teach us about his controversial practices as self-curator, the posthumous (and precarious) disposition of his poetry and papers, and the way in which reading Gerard Manley Hopkins is always an exercise in textural counter-point.

Lesley Higgins, a Professor of English at York University (Toronto, Canada), is the co-general editor of the Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins. She has produced three volumes for the series, has published extensively on Hopkins and Walter Pater, and is the author of The Modernist Cult of Ugliness: Gender and Aesthetic Politics.

Location & directions

Questions? archivist[at]balliol.ox.ac.uk

monthly report March 2016

A few numbers about what was happening at St Cross during March:

  • Number of enquiries (email etc): 75
  • Number of researchers in person: 14
  • Number of person-days in the reading room: 18
  • Collections consulted: Greene-Reid, Arnold, medieval mss (4), Bradley, Maxwell, college records (2), TH Green, AL Smith, GM Hopkins, George Malcolm
  • No of non-research visitors: ca. 35 (historians, Unlocking Archives, individuals)
  • Blog posts: 6
  • interesting events: with other college archivists, staffed college archives stall at undergraduate history thesis fair (Schools); Unlocking Archives talk by Eleanor Greer [correction: February’s talk was by Anna on AL Smith]; talk for undergraduate history students about planning and practicalities of archival research for dissertations (Anna and Dr Valentina Caldari)

guest post – OUIP microinternship HT16

(Anna): Claire has been working with me at St Cross this week on a 9th week placement arranged through OUIP’s microinternship scheme, photographing medieval manuscripts and posting the images online in response to researchers’ requests. It’s been a pleasure to work with her, and the fruits of her efficient labours can be viewed on Flickr (see MSS 246, 276 and 63). Here’s her account of the week:

‘I spent a very long time dredging through the internship website before I found Balliol’s advert in the middle of a sea of law and consultancy firms. I wasn’t aware then of Balliol’s collection of manuscripts but it immediately appealed – I had been doing work indexing photo albums for my own college, Univ, and this seemed like a chance to (literally) get my hands on even older books. Just that week my tutor for Latin reading classes had spent twenty minutes of our one-hour class talking about about our debt as Classicists to the manuscripts which preserved the Latin texts we were reading. With this in mind, I then went online to have a look at Balliol’s archives and found a huge catalogue of these kind of resources. I was surprised as I assumed most of their work would be behind some kind of paywall, or that you would have to contact the archivist to access it, yet it was all freely available. This sealed it; it’s a personal gripe of mine that so much academic material is unavailable to those without money or influence, and thus I do feel that was Balliol is doing is making important resources available in a very fair and egalitarian way. And so I applied, and, despite having no experience save helping out the Univ archivist, got the internship. Now I’m very glad I did, and not just because it made one member of my Latin class very jealous.


Oxford, Balliol College MS278-f214va

‘When I first started the internship, my feelings were mainly dominated by fear and intimidation at handling such old and valuable manuscripts; the very first one I photographed was 14th century so it really was a matter of going straight in. One of the first things I learnt was how to handle the books correctly, Anna’s advice was to hold them as you would an animal, supporting all the limbs and particularly the spine. On the basis of this, I’ve spent the last five days treating the books like very delicate and elderly rottweilers. For my first two manuscripts, the style of writing was such that I couldn’t recognise many of the letters used, let alone words. I think I only recognised ‘quidam’ and ‘nec’ in the whole first three days. However, when I moved onto a manuscript from the 12th century, a breakthrough happened where I actually began to recognise the majority of the words. Alas, the vocab may be there but after only two terms of learning Latin, somehow I wasn’t quite at the stage of reading Bede fluently. I learnt while here how different classical Latin is from medieval and later forms of Latin, and for now I think I’ll stick to Cicero. Something which was both unexpected and wonderful about the manuscripts I worked with was the amount of marginalia I found; particularly entertaining were the little faces drawn as to come out of the text, and particularly spooky was the hooded figure drawn in pointing at a section of text.


Oxford, Balliol College MS 278-f094rb

‘As well as photographing the manuscripts and putting them online, on Thursday morning I was given the chance to visit the archives in New College. The majority of the archive is kept inside the Muniment Tower there, and going up a very long spiral staircase inside a stone tower to see them felt very authentic. From visiting another college I think I’ve learnt about how different archives can be, but how many of the problems archivists face in maintaining them and keeping them accesible are the same. One highlight of the visit was seeing 16th and 17th documents inside their original boxes and bags, a strong recommendation of their box-making and storage methods. What I found beautiful about the archives was how much of the history of the archive itself had been preserved; many documents were kept in huge sets of drawers or chests from much earlier in history, and the rooms themselves still had the original tiled flooring.

‘Working at the archives has been a wonderful experience; I feel like I’ve gained far more knowledge about both this archive and how archives work in general, and also that I’ve made some contribution to the project of making Balliol’s extensive collection of manuscripts more accessible to the scholars who need them.’

aIMG_20160317_124508491from a visit to New College’s archives


– Claire Heseltine

Unlocking Archives – Boys’ Club talk (2014)

Lunchtime talk: Unlocking Archives

a seminar series about research in Balliol College’s special collections

‘The Balliol Boys’ Club: Town and Gown in the First World War’

Anna Sander, Archivist & Curator of Manuscripts, Balliol College, Oxford

Transcript/tidied up notes of a talk given on Friday 7 November 2014, 1-2pm, at Balliol Historic Collections Centre, St Cross Church, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UH. Photos of the accompanying exhibition, with brief captions, can be viewed at https://balliolarchivist.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/ww1-boys-club-exhibition/

The Balliol Boys’ Club was formed in early 1907 as a result of changing attitudes in the college – started decades earlier by Benjamin Jowett but driven especially by AL Smith, by 1907 a Fellow and soon to become Master – towards social responsibility and widening access to education. The aim was to provide healthy, vigorous activity for working boys of early teen-age from underprivileged areas of Oxford.

Balliol’s club was based in 9 Littlegate Street, St Ebbe’s (down the hill behind Pembroke College) and offered boxing, football and other sports, in some cases using college facilities. On the other hand, singing and amateur dramatics were also popular, and other semi-educational activities developed, presumably depending on the interests and abilities of the student organisers, such as debating, French and chess. But by far the most memorable and universally enjoyed activity seems to have been the annual summer camps, not all held in the same place but ranging from Fawley, Beaulieu and Lymington to Wytham and Radcot. A number of colleges and public schools ran similar enterprises, both in Oxford and in London; such clubs fitted with emerging ideas of the time about social action and youth activities, exemplified most famously by Robert Baden-Powell’s exactly contemporaneous Scouting movement, and preceded by the Boys’ Brigade and several church-based movements. Balliol’s was the first of the college clubs and the first boys’ club in Oxford.

As it was run by college undergraduates for local boys, the club brought town and gown together, and a strong and lasting esprit de corps emerged early.  By the time The Club at War began circulating, the first several intakes of boys would have been well into the adult working world, but as we will see, many still felt that the club played an important and continuing part in their lives, and that it continued to do so during their wartime experience. The club flourished again after the war, and its future was assured by the gift of a new clubhouse and funds in memory of one of its leading lights from the college, Keith Rae (Balliol 1907), who was killed in 1915.

The Club was wound up when the St Ebbe’s area was redeveloped c.1970, but there is still an active old members’ association. The club’s own records survive fairly well right from the early days, and the exhibition  includes: minutes of meetings; log books recording attendance and activities, featuring daily notes from summer camps; newspaper cuttings; photographs; accounts; and numbers of the club magazine, among them its own trench magazine, The Club at War, which circulated from 1916 to 1919. Central to the exhibition is the Boys’ Club War Memorial board, listing the club members who fell, Oxford boys and Balliol men together.

Balliol College’s holdings of the Club’s administrative records are good but not entirely complete, and even if all minutes, accounts and activity logbooks survived, they would not tell the whole story – we can only present one, incomplete, point of view from this source. To tell a more rounded story of the Club or, especially, of any of its former members, a researcher would need to consult not only its own administrative records but numerous other primary and secondary sources, e.g. Oxford city council archival records, contemporary and later newspaper articles, school and perhaps work records for boys, personal and/or private collections of papers, records of charitable and educational organisations, the 1901 and 1911 censuses (and, eventually, later ones as they become available), and individuals’ war records at the National Archives, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, or regimental archives. This exhibition presents a snapshot of Balliol’s holdings about the Club and some of its College members, specifically to do with the period from its founding to the end of the First World War, with the intention of encouraging further research using this collection and related material elsewhere.

We start with a few  pre-war Club documents, to give an idea of the atmosphere, attitudes and activities of the early years.

– Pre-war ‘general knowledge’ spoof quiz sheet about the Club, which I think you should try.

– Undated letter from JJ Baldwin, the first boy to sign up for the Club.

– Original agreement re rent and maintenance of Club premises, 1907.

– Club Committee (College based, Fellows) minutes from 1908 about inviting speakers regarding Boys’ Employment – working age was a topic then currently under discussion with the Labour Commission, local Councils etc.

[Pages are shown from the regular Log Books of Club activities August 1914 and November 1918.] We note the mass meeting & encouragement of enlistment/boys volunteering for emergency-messenger work for the Relief Committee in August 1914, and rowdy behaviour – possibly related to Armistice ebullience, possibly just ordinary – in November 1918. Extract: ‘22 Nov 1918 Very rowdy night indeed. Behaviour at prayers disgraceful. Much shouting and singing during them.’ (Some officious person notes below, ‘please put date and give names of officers.’)

Despite misgivings about disruption and lack of Balliol men to staff clubhouse openings, regular Club activities continued through the War, though not daily as had been the usual practice. Summer camps in particular carried on, and their importance is reflected in the numerous mentions of happy memories of past camps in The Club at War magazine from soldiers writing home. Former Balliol student members are noted as having returned to visit the Club on leave, and having led or at least visited summer camps during the war, which meant a considerable investment of leave time.

[Pages are displayed from the Camp Logbooks – student leaders’ accounts of summer camps during WW1.]

We have out several printed books, letters, diaries and recollections of Balliol men who died in the war, published by friends and family during and after. All four examples here (there are more) are useful sources of Club history – they are about individual Balliol pillars of the pre-War club, and mention its foundation and activities in detail, and with personal reflections, not found elsewhere. They are also a rare source of Club photos, especially from summer camps.

– Adela Adam. Arthur Innes Adam, 1894-1916. A record founded on his letters . By his mother. Displayed with

– James Saumarez Mann. An administrator in the making, James Saumarez Mann, 1893-1920. By his father.

– Arthur Graeme West (1891–1917), The Diary of a Dead Officer (1918). Edited by C. Joad. Displayed with

– EB Poulton, The Life of Ronald Poulton. Written by his father.

Now we come to the central document of the exhibition:

The Club at War – Balliol Boys’ Club alumni trench magazine 1916-1919

The club already had an alumni magazine, and once quite a number of old members had been mobilised, it naturally evolved into a trench magazine. Its bulk is made up of brief letters from old members, so the effect of each issue will have been a kind of round-robin. Recipients were evidently keen to hear news of each other and of the present Club as long as it was able to continue and as soon as it started up again. The tone of the magazine is generally cheerful and matter-of-fact. In many cases, particularly those of the former youth members, these are likely to be the only surviving words written by these men.

Let’s look a bit further into The Club at War[The magazine has been photographed in full, and images of all numbers are online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/balliolarchivist/sets/72157637160461386/]

It’s clear that those writing from the home front understand that those away need to know that the Club is continuing and still vital. Old members were evidently pleased to hear news updates, and made a point of using precious leave time in Oxford to drop by and say hello to the current members. Generally, those reporting say little about how things are going, owing at least in part to heavy censorship of letters, and share any news they have about what has happened to old Club members they have met or heard from. The light tone reads like Christmas round-robins or neighbourhood gossip over the back fences, but these are men in their twenties – or younger – writing from billets, trenches, hospitals, ships and training camps about men their own age, old friends indeed and in some cases cousins and brothers, who are wounded, ill, missing or dead.

The last couple of numbers of The Club at War, which continues into the spring of 1919, are particularly valuable for their notes from recently demobbed servicemen and those waiting to get out. A number of them give quite a lot of detail about what they have been doing during this period of upheaval, and again, this information is not likely to survive elsewhere.

Of course a roll of service and a roll of honour are kept throughout the magazine’s issues, and the 10th number gives the final count – though it turns out there was at least one more casualty (JS Mann) still to come.  Let’s move round to compare that list with the Club War Memorial plaque – listing both Balliol students and Oxford boys who were members of the Club and died during WW1, in (almost) alphabetical order, without any differentiation between the two categories – you can’t tell, from the list alone, who was town and who was gown. The plaque was probably made when the new clubhouse opened (Keith Rae House) in 1922, and there are several discrepancies between it and the list of fallen Club members in No.10 of The Club at War – and not only JS Mann, who died in the Iraqi uprising in 1920.

Though the list of names doesn’t differentiate, nonetheless this is where the town and gown divide shows itself most clearly – although we know the names of the Oxford boys and Balliol students from the Club who fell in the War, we don’t have lists of all participants in Club activities for either side. There is no full register of the boys who attended, and no further information about those for whom we do have names, except incidental mentions in administrative records such as minutes or camp log books.

The one notable exception is the few personal file sheets about individual boys ca.WW1 on display– these records, kept by student Club leaders, are the only examples of personal information held at Balliol about boy members of the Club. I don’t know why these ones survive in particular, or why we have only these few, or from only this period.

By contrast, there are photographs of all the Balliol men who were Club members and died in the war. A number of them are the subjects of posthumous publications by family and friends, in the forms of edited collections of their wartime letters or diaries and reminiscences by those who knew them. All the Balliol casualties, including a number of men who were admitted to Balliol but were killed before they ever came into residence, and several College servants who fell, are commemorated in the college’s 2 volume War Memorial Book. This was compiled in the years immediately following the war by Balliol Fellow and classicist, eventually Professor Sir, Arthur Wallace Pickard-Cambridge, and his wife Hilda, who were both early supporters of the Club and made a point of coming to the annual Parents’ Evenings! Two scrapbooks of their collected notes and research material were ‘found in the Bodleian Library in 1974’: two scrap-book volumes: volume IV of a series entitled ‘Oxford during the war’, 1917-18; and volume II of a series containing letters and printed material relating to Balliol men killed in action. Don’t I wish we had these scrapbooks here! I haven’t seen them – it was Aoife O’Gorman, who during her tenure as Balliol-Bodley scholar came across them while working with Mike Webb on the just-closed Bodleian exhibition. Just recently Llewelyn Morgan, a Classics tutor at Brasenose, has been finding out – and blogging about – his predecessor in that post, Druce Robert ‘Bob’ Brandt, of whom there are several photos up there.

As well as printed material about their lives and wartime experiences, we have war poetry by several of the Balliol men involved with the Club. Without wishing to give too many spoilers for a future exhibition about Balliol war poets, it’s worth mentioning that just the three poems on display, all by Balliol contemporaries, all young Army officers, all killed in France in 1916-17, portray three very different voices and attitudes toward the war.

David Westcott Brown’s ‘Two Voices’, which is included in a couple of war poetry anthologies, shows the paradoxical contrasts between the ugly realities of war-torn France and the everyman junior officer  speaker’s resolute and apparently incorrigible hope in the resilience and renewal of the natural world, and faith in God. This attitude, while hardly jingoistic, certainly comes in for violent criticism in the next poem by Arthur Graeme West, which starts, ‘God! How I hate you, you young cheerful men,

Whose pious poetry blossoms on your graves
As soon as you are in them, nurtured up
By the salt of your corruption, and the tears
Of mothers, local vicars, college deans,
And flanked by prefaces and photographs
From all your minor poet friends—the fools—
Who paint their sentimental elegies…

Well, we do of course have examples right here of precisely the kinds of memorials he so reviles… but from his other writings one can gather that in fact West’s was not this single-faceted a view of the war, and it has been alleged that CM Joad, who ensured publication of West’s Diary of a Dead Officer, which includes this and other poems, after West’s death, edited judiciously and manipulated or at the very least used West’s writing for his own anti-war ends.  And Stephen Hewett’s poem ‘In France, 1916’ goes in another direction altogether: it is unabashedly escapist in showing his use of memories of a happier time to deliberately separate himself, in a Wordsworthian way, for a little while from the grim reality.

Stephen Hewett’s poems in particular have escaped critical notice so far, as they were privately printed and hardly any copies survive – there isn’t one at Balliol and I must thank the archivist at Downside Abbey for sending me scans of theirs– but he was a prizewinning Classicist and his poems in English are certainly worth another look. There is several talks’ worth of material here on the literary critical angle of war poetry alone, but that’s for another day. In the meantime I encourage anyone who isn’t already familiar with it to explore the Oxford War Poetry Archive.

Several Balliol students who had been key to the founding and early successes of the Balliol Boys’ Club became casualties of the war, as did a number of early boy members. I’ve been able to find photos for all but one of the Balliol members of the Club, and they are on the display boards in the Chancel. By contrast the few pre-Second World War photos we have from the Club are undated and without identifications. So we may well have pictures of some of the Oxford boys on the memorial plaque, but we don’t know who they are. Some of the summer camp photos here are certainly post-WW1, but I’ve included them to give an idea, as we have so few from any period.

Other things on display: Balliol biographies & autobiographies section of the printed collections – featured are the College War Memorial Book and contemporary numbers of Punch. Early numbers of the College Record are also out, and along with several memoirs and biographies of Balliol men not directly connected to the Club, of whom more another year!

Further deposits of Club administrative records, and, I hope, photographs, will be forthcoming, and I hope improved online finding aids and collection descriptions will lead to more research in the collection. To list just a few of the areas where the collection has research relevance:

  • attitudes of men and officers to practical and ideological aspects of the War
  • Oxford local history, not least of St Ebbe’s parish, much of which no longer exists physically as it was then, and the ongoing interactions between town and gown
  • history and influence of the Boys’ Brigade, Scouting & other early C20 social action, particularly educational and youth movements
  • changing attitudes toward children and teenagers and young people’s education, school leaving age, changes in regulations for working age and conditions
  • Balliol College’s own history and the histories of its members.

– Anna Sander, 2014 rev. 2016.

Sources and further reading:

Oxford, Balliol College Archives, Boys’ Club subfonds. More information about this archive at https://balliolarchivist.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/faq-balliol-boys-club/

Adam, Adela. Arthur Innes Adam, 1894-1916. A record founded on his letters . Privately printed, 1920.

Bailey, C. A Short History of the Balliol Boys’ Club, 1907-1950. Oxford: OUP, 1950.

Bailey, C., & J Roughley,  A History of the Balliol Boys’ Club 1907-1971. Oxford: Martin Slade, 1995.

Chipperfield, J. ‘Sixty Years of Balliol Boys’ Club.’ Oxford Mail, 9 December 2013. Online: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/community/memorylane/10863390.Sixty_years_of_Balliol_Boys__Club/

Corsan, J. For Poulton and England : the life and times of an Edwardian Rugby hero. Leicester : Matador, 2009.

Curtis, P. A hawk among sparrows : a biography of Austin Farrer. London : SPCK, 1985.

Jones, JH. Balliol College: A History. 2nd ed. rev. Oxford: OUP, 2005.

Mann, JS (1851-1921). An administrator in the making, James Saumarez Mann, 1893-1920. London, New York: Longmans, Green, 1921.

Poulton, E.B. The life of Ronald Poulton. London : Sedgwick & Jackson, 1919.

Powley, T. ‘An education: Oxford’s role in creating London Boys’ Clubs.’ Oxford Today, 2 January 2016. – article about similar clubs founded in London by Oxford colleges and public schools. Online: http://www.oxfordtoday.ox.ac.uk/features/education-oxfords-role-creating-london-boys-clubs

Smith, M. K. (2004) ‘Waldo McGillicuddy Eagar and the making of boys’ clubs’, the encyclopedia of informal education. [http://infed.org/mobi/waldo-mcgillicuddy-eagar-and-the-making-of-boys/. Retrieved: 10 March 2016. Smith provides a useful short bibliography on the history of youth clubs in Britain – Hubert Secretan, co-author with Eagar of the 1925 study Unemployment Among Boys, was a Balliol man (1911) and instrumental in the early years of the Balliol Boys’ Club.

West, AG. The diary of a dead officer : being the posthumous papers of Arthur Graeme West. Ed. C. Joad. London : George Allen & Unwin, 1918.




AL Smith on the Home Front

‘AL Smith on the Home Front’

Anna Sander, Archivist & Curator of Manuscripts, Balliol College, Oxford

Transcript/tidied up notes of a talk given as part of the Unlocking Archives series on Friday 19 February 2016, 1-2pm, at Balliol Historic Collections Centre, St Cross Church, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UH.

I feel while giving this talk – even more than usual – that I should have a sign saying Dissertation Idea that I can hold up at strategic points during the talk, because the archive is so rich on so many subjects. I’ll provide something of an overview of AL Smith’s life and work, but I want to concentrate for this talk on the First World War and AL’s election to the Mastership in 1916, and to look at archival sources of information about that.

Arthur Lionel Smith (1850-1924) was Balliol through and through: matriculated 1869, Tutor 1874, Lecturer 1879, Fellow 1882, Dean 1907, Master 1916. Though he was a particularly engaged and hardworking  Fellow and Master of Balliol, a great part of his time and energy was devoted to work outside the college (even including a five-year Fellowship at Trinity) and outside Oxford. In this illustrated talk, I will open up some of his extensive personal, academic and administrative archive[1] to show some of his activities at home and away during the First World War.

The intention of the talk, is, as usual, to draw out some of the themes present in the archive, and to encourage further and more detailed research in this rich and yet under-examined archive and related fonds at Balliol, in Oxford, and elsewhere. The AL Smith archive is open to researchers at all levels, with or without formal institutional affiliations. More information about consulting Balliol’s archives and manuscripts is here.

I have to say first that I feel I have got to know Mrs AL (also known as MF, Mary Florence Baird Smith) at least as well as AL (Arthur Lionel Smith) himself while putting this paper together. I certainly couldn’t have written it without her, because her biography of AL is still the only one, and beside that she was his secretary while he was Master, so may well be thanks to her personally  that so much of his correspondence for this period survives. It should be said, though, that the archive, which came to the college through a number of hands, has had to be restored to an order perhaps not quite original, by more than one person since. I think Mrs AL does deserve, in the words of her 1946 Times obituary, ‘to be remembered as one of the great matrons of the Victorian and post-Victorian period’[2]. This extract from that obituary, I think, brings up several aspects of her experience that are in themselves dissertation-worthy:

From The Times, 16 December 1946: ‘For more than three decades ‘Mrs AL’ was one of the institutions of Balliol. Her life of her husband is an autobiography as well as a biography. In it she describes how she became ‘domestic bursar’ of their ménage, and in fact much more. This, when AL was master she learnt to type and file in order to take over secretarial duties. All through her life she shepherded her husband and headed off anxieties and cares as well as unwelcome visitors. Her powers of management were needed in order to give full scope to her husband’s brilliance. But she was far from being a mere hausfrau [is this what we have just read described , a ‘mere hausfrau’?] and she could and did express her opinions with admirable sense, wit and incisiveness. The dominant instinct throughout her long life was the maternal. She mothered not only her sisters, her nine children and then in later life her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but also many generations of undergraduates, black sheep as well as white, and conducted one of the first Infant Welfare Centres in Oxford.’ [3]

So there we have meat for several essays:

  1. a) the role of women in facilitating their husbands’ academic careers during this period, and the academic and social changes brought about by changes in university regulations making Fellows other than Professors and Heads of House being free to marry (1877)[4]. AL and MF married in 1879 – surely his career could not possibly have taken the shape it did without the particular home life they built together?
  2. b) the history of Infant Welfare Centres, especially in Oxford, and the role of social class and education for organisers and clients
  3. c) the history of an archive: how was this material put together, where are the related collections, how has it been ‘edited’, what choices have been made along the way about what survives? and by whom?

AL, MF and many more of the clan are buried in Holywell Cemetery, just behind this church to which they must have walked from the King’s Mound on so many Sunday mornings, and where the family must regularly have taken up a couple of pews. It’s particularly apt to be giving this talk in this place.

Time for a very brief biographical overview of AL, in which I will not footnote the source of every detail as most are repeated in several sources;  for all this and further information, start with the introductory chapter of MF’s biography, the ODNB entry and Tim Procter’s introduction to the Smith archive catalogue online, which begins:

‘Arthur Lionel Smith was perhaps the first Master of Balliol since Benjamin Jowett to acquire something of a national reputation.’ [5]

Well, there had only been two, to be fair to them.  But AL was particularly dedicated to access to education, and higher education, for all, and that is the field in which he acquired – and retains – said national reputation.

Arthur Lionel Smith was born in London on December 4th 1850, the second son of William Henry Smith, a civil engineer and his wife Alice Elizabeth, who had five children altogether. His father died when he was young, and Smith was sponsored to enter Christ’s Hospital (the school) by a family friend. Christ’s Hospital is now in the lovely Sussex countryside, but was then a school of 800 still in London, so don’t imagine a rural idyll. The eldest son entered the Navy, one child had died in infancy, and Mrs Smith took the other two with her to live in Rome and then the US. The young AL did not have an easy childhood at school, but academically he evidently thrived at Christ’s Hospital, of which he later became a Board member, and came up to Balliol on an exhibition in 1869. He got a First in Litterae Humaniores (Classics), but played hard too; he joined the College Hockey XI, and sculled and rowed bow for the Head of the River crew in 1873.

He then decided to read for the relatively new School of Modern History, gaining a Second and a Lothian Prize after only a year in 1874. His first Fellowship was in his first subject, Greats, next door at Trinity, and during this period he studied for the Bar as well. However, 1879 brought both his marriage to Mary Florence Baird – remember, this is only two years after Fellows were permitted to retain Fellowships upon marriage – and a Lectureship in modern history at Balliol. With a Fellowship following in 1882, things were set fair for the rest of his life at Balliol‘s heart.

From the early years, AL was active in University administration – in 1882 he became Junior Proctor, and was a Curator of the Bodleian Library as well as a Trustee of the University Endowment Fund, which he helped to establish. He also became a member of the Hebdomadal Council, and a good chunk of his archive contains correspondence and documentation about his work with these university committees.

Modern History as a discipline in its own right was in its infancy around the turn of the 20th century, and AL was instrumental in its development in Oxford and at Balliol, as a tutor, Examiner and Ford Lecturer.[6] The Ford Lectures, consisting of six lectures in English or British history, given over a year and usually published, were established in 1896, which shows how recently the subject was thought important enough for a named lecture series. Smith was the lecturer in 1905, only the 10th year of the series. His influence soon spread considerably outside Oxford as he became a History examiner for the universities of Cambridge, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Wales as well. One of the oft-repeated memories of AL is that of him dashing off to catch a train – he was always travelling.

Widening education as much as possible had always been at the heart of AL’s teaching, and he was the right man in the right place at the right time to do something about it. From before the turn of the century access to higher education for the working classes and women, and working class women, had been a matter of growing discussion in society and in the universities, and the huge social changes of the First World War opened up those movements even more, as we shall see.

As well as educational reform, Smith was also involved in religious reform, serving on the Archbishops’ Committee on Church and State, helping to write its report in 1916, and on one of the five committees examining “Christianity and Industrial Problems.”[7] And while the terrible consequences of the war would have been desperately and personally clear to him, he believed that its upheaval of civil society should be used in the following for moral, spiritual and educational reform throughout  society , and he travelled and lectured a lot about that as well. So all these issues were bound up together for him.

We’ve now reached 1914 and it’s time to focus on Balliol and Oxford, and the changes brought by the First World War…

Briefly, to set the scene for Balliol and AL Smith during WW1: the summer of 1914 does appear from photos to have been as golden as its reputation, but Oxford students were among the first to volunteer in droves when war was declared in August, and the life of the college was immediately and completely changed.[8]

In 1914 there were 19 teaching staff plus the Master, 15 Fellows + 4 lecturers – this number was to drop from 20 to 6 in very short order, and in effect only three Fellows were keeping the college running through most of the war.[9] You’ll notice from College Register entries for the war years that a surprising number of students are enrolled each year – but this number would in practice have dwindled rapidly as men completed their training and took up their commissions and other posts on active service. There were just a handful of conscientious objectors from Balliol itself, which is another topic possibly for another day and another dissertation, but we will return to conscientious objection later.

What was happening at the college? What was ALS doing? Mrs AL tells us that right from ‘August 1914 the college was full of soldiers: first, some of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry then later on, batches of officers in training and cadet battalions of all sorts. Of undergraduates only about forty or fifty remained, and these mostly in training.’ [10]

Though there were fewer students to teach, there were still some coming up every year, and the college was certainly full. Although the resident officer cadets were not members of the college, there will have been a certain amount of administrative contact with the Army organisers as well as all the maintenance and hospitality involved.

When he became Master in the spring of 1916, AL and his family moved from the King’s Mound to the Master’s Lodgings. Can you imagine living in a room looking over the garden quad and waking up to a sergeant major conducting cadet drill every morning?[11]

Army life in College was quite a phenomenon: AL contributed hugely to the great sense of welcome and belonging, and a lot of fun, experienced by all these servicemen, many ex-Balliol and ex-Oxford, but many more not university men at all, and many from the Commonwealth, particularly Australia. A positive side of wartime on active service is hard for us to appreciate at this remove, but was certainly real. I am still dealing with the – I was trying to find a positive synonym for fallout and I couldn’t – consequences of the officer cadets’ enjoyment of their periods of 6 weeks to four months, some even shorter, at Balliol, because in many cases the Balliol and Oxford experience turned into wartime reminiscences that could safely be shared at home in later years, and often became cherished family stories. In some cases the few weeks’ Army training on Balliol premises, ‘with games on the Master’s Field, races on the river and concerts in Hall’[12], morphed in family legend into full Oxford degrees. I regularly receive enquiries to the archives, often though not always from descendants of these men, wanting to know more about their time as ‘Oxford students.’ Alas I do sometimes have to explode these family myths after a century, but on the other hand the real story is at least as interesting, and if they don’t like the truth – they simply don’t believe me.

But the grim realities of war daily penetrated Balliol’s tranquil garden in other ways than the dulcet tones of the drill sergeant outside the Smiths’ windows. As Master, AL had to continue Strachan Davidson’s dreadful task of writing awful numbers of letters of condolence to the families of Balliol men who died. I haven’t added up the number of letters that must have been, from the summer of 1916 through 1918 and in one or two cases even later, but AL had been at the college since 1869 and must have known personally every one of the 200 or so Balliol men who died, starting in 1914.

All sorts of more or less ordinary administrative matters continued and were mixed in with wartime issues: if we look at the CM minutes for 1916 we see all kinds of fairly mundane college issues carrying on: admissions, scholarships, Rhodes Scholars; staff pensions, releasing college servants to war work, finding enough staff to keep things going while the college was sort of in abeyance and yet constantly full; library business, repairs to properties, disciplinary matters, ecclesiastical patronage, benefactions and property questions.

And then in the middle of all this the Master, James Leigh Strachan Davidson, dies. More about the Mastership in a minute, we are still up to the eyes in busy college life…

Section 2A of the Smith archive documents his extramural work, that is, his activities with the university extension, the WEA and the tutorial classes movement.[13] I mentioned this in the introduction but I want to emphasise that, unlike ordinary University or College life, this was something that does not seem to have abated much even during the war, perhaps even the opposite.

The University Extension, previously known as the Delegacy for the Extension of Teaching Beyond the Limits of the University, is now the Department of Continuing Education,[14] and several Balliol dons were involved from the very early days, including TH Green and AL Smith. (Another dissertation idea: looking at women’s education and the University Extension Movement – because a large proportion of Extension lecture attendees and later course participants were women.) Correspondence relating to Ruskin College in Oxford turns up in Smith’s correspondence and committee papers in the first two decades of the 20th century.[15] Ruskin was founded in 1899 ‘to provide university-standard education for working class people to empower them to act more effectively on behalf of working class communities and organisations such as trade unions, political parties, co-operative societies and working men’s institutes.’[16] The WEA or Workers’ Education Association, founded in 1903 by a man who attended University Extension classes, is another organisation for accessible adult education for all, that still exists and thrives today.[17] William Temple, another Balliol man, was the first President of the WEA, and Balliol don RH Tawney was another active lecturer.[18] In addition to lecturing all over the country, Smith was active on various committees for all these organisations, which seem to have overlapped and cooperated (appropriately) as well as reviewing articles for their publications, recommending or approving lecturers, devising syllabuses and examining courses, again not just in Oxford but all over England.[19]

A large proportion of the Smith archive consists of correspondence, not only the alphabetical Letters section but the administrative ones as well, and it’s concentrated in the years from about 1907-8 onwards and is especially voluminous for the years of the Mastership. I wonder whether this is connected with the fact that MF became his secretary about that time as well. Reading other people’s letters is always fascinating, but the contents of AL’s incoming post box are worth looking at for all kinds of topics – to list just a few: how university-politically tricky benefactions were discussed and managed, administration of the Indian Civil Service training courses, all kinds of financial issues at Balliol, University rowing, the establishment of Toynbee Hall in London[20], constant requests from individuals for testimonials and recommendations, queries about coaching for boys by Smith, recommending coaching for someone’s daughters, endless requests to speak, and letters about Balliol admissions candidates.

From the WW1-era WEA files in the ALS archive emerges an interesting side light – an unexpected source of information about conscientious objectors. In September 1916 Smith receives a letter from Fred Hall of the Co-Operative Union: Hall has to appear before a military service tribunal – can AL help by writing a letter saying his work is of national importance?[21] Hall really wishes to get his conscientious objection recognised without being punished. In December of the same year, correspondence between AL and  J.M. Mactavish about Mr. Travena of the WEA North-Eastern District. Travena is in prison for conscientious objection, but the WEA need him. Can AL help to secure his release? AL sends back suggestions from who might help.[22] In the spring of 1917 there is correspondence with the Cardiff Education Committee concerning the case of E. Whitefield Jones and other teachers dismissed for refusing to answer a questionnaire on Conscientious Objection. Mrs. Whitefield Jones writes to ask AL’s advice.[23] And there’s more.

And the Balliol Boys’ Club was still going; AL had always been involved in that. Balliol Boys’ Club had started in 1907, with AL as one of the  young Fellows responsible.[24] It continued strongly throughout the war, not only keeping up whatever it could of regular weeknight activities for local working boys, but also serving as a meeting place for both town and gown old members in oxford on leave, and as a means of keeping up communication and morale via The Club at War, its trench magazine. The complete run of The Club at War has been scanned and put online, and is well worth a read.

Thus we form the impression of a busy man, to say the least. Of course all this time don’t forget a family of nine children and servants, plus boys or young men living in the house and being tutored for admissions exams– their daughters’ accounts of family mealtimes are well worth reading! And now in the midst of all these things, AL is about to become Master of Balliol.

You’d assume that a man like this must be enormously energetic, as implied by the animation of the cartoon, but it’s not straightforward in this case. Gertrude Mary, their second child and eldest of seven daughters, in a reminiscence in Goodly Heritage, notes that despite his huge energy and productivity, in fact AL never had been physically robust and had had several serious illnesses and conditions through his life – very slow heartbeat, arthritis, bronchitis.[25] His health was never good and perhaps the necessary strain of the Mastership eventually broke it. Perhaps because of this ill health from childhood, he was a bit of a health fanatic, a strenuous rower in the days of decidedly non-strenuous rowing training, and what would now seem, though it was much more in the normal range then, a somewhat extreme daily walker. He often –somehow – found time to walk energetically in the countryside around Oxford for as much as a couple of hours a day.

AL had long been a power in the land  as a Fellow at Balliol when the death of James Leigh Strachan Davidson, in the midst of the First World War, made him the new Master, and the family moved from the King’s Mound (where the Master of Balliol now lives) into the Master’s Lodgings in Broad Street. MF is at pains to mention that he wasn’t interested in being Master for its own sake, was extremely sorry to leave their sunny house and garden, and would have used any objection from her as a welcome excuse to refuse the appointment.[26] She adds, however, that though at any other time it would have been a terrible wrench for her too, the war had already changed everything beyond recognition, and on the one hand nothing like domestic or administrative arrangements seemed to matter so much. On the other hand, what did matter was doing one’s bit, whatever was required for the national effort, and the Mastership seemed to be AL’s next duty, so they did it.

And of course he had to start his Mastership by giving the memorial sermon for his predecessor, tutor and very old friend – Balliol has his typescript notes for that sermon.[27]  Strachan Davidson ‘died suddenly of a cerebral haemorrhage on 28 March 1916, in the Master’s Lodgings.’[28]  He had been ill for years, but his death was an unexpected  crisis. Only a week before, he had been signing approved minutes of College Meeting.[29] AL Smith must already have been designated Vicegerent, and a note of 31 March notes an Extraordinary College Meeting at which more than the usual wartime Fellows were present: Bailey, Davis and Stone. The Mastership election is set for 29 April, and Hilliard is released to Government service for the duration of the war: another Fellow down in numbers for keeping things running.

I ended up looking at the Mastership election in some detail: it sounds rather grim and dull, but in this case there was such an unusual situation, the Master’s sudden death in the middle of wartime. Who decided who would be next? Who was left to make such decisions? only the very few resident Fellows? were they quorate?[30]

From the College Meeting  minutes for January 1916 we can see who the resident Fellowship were – to compare, recall that in 1914 there were 19 teaching staff plus the Master, 15 Fellows + 4 lecturers, while in 1916, there remained only 7, soon to be 6 :

  • the Master, still then James Leigh Strachan-Davidson (b1843, Balliol 1862 as undergraduate, contemporary of GM Hopkins, aged 73 in 1916, classicist),
  • AL Smith (b1850, Balliol 1869 as undergrad, aged 66, modern historian), senior Dean, Master 1916
  • Prof AA MacDonnell (b.1854, Balliol 1900, as Fellow, aged 62, orientalist), Boden Prof of Sanskrit, Keeper of Indian Inst (Professorial Fellow)
  • FF Urquhart (b 1868, Balliol 1890 as second BA student, aged 48, modern historian), Domestic Bursar, Steward of SCR, history examiner, taking College Meeting minutes & writing An introduction to the Study of International Relations
  • AW Pickard-Cambridge, (b. 1873, Balliol 1891 as undergraduate, aged 43, classicist) Jr Bursar, Librarian, tutor for Admissions
  • E Hilliard, (b1867, Balliol 1904 as Fellow, aged 49, lawyer), Senior Bursar, Faculties Board
  • AD Lindsay (b 1879, Balliol 1906 as Fellow, aged 37, philosopher) youngest Fellow, about to go off to be Deputy Controller of Labour in France, for which he would be awarded the Military CBE, and after a couple of years at Glasgow after the war, he would return to Balliol as Master in 1924 – on the death of AL Smith.[31]

In effect it was Smith, Urquhart and Pickard-Cambridge who kept things running at Balliol during the war. The College Meeting minutes for 29 April 1916 show that the Fellows who could get away from war work returned for the election: Cyril Bailey (45, Ministry of Munitions), Henry WC Davis (42, War Trade Intelligence), and Charles G Stone (30, Fellow, philosopher). [32]

The minutes record that this election adhered to custom: ‘Special General Meeting for the election of a Master, held in the College Chapel. Mr Arthur Lionel Smith was elected Master of the College. The Master and Fellows then proceeded to the Library, where the College Seal was attached to a letter notifying the election of the Master to the Visitor.’[33] Formalities observed, they then proceeded to complete the previous day’s ordinary College Meeting business. A few days later on 2nd May the Visitor’s formal letter of acceptance or approval of the election was read out, and under that note is the first occurrence of Arthur Lionel Smith signing College Meeting minutes as Master of Balliol.

 – Anna Sander

Sources and further reading

Archives and Manuscripts

Oxford, Balliol College Archives, College Meeting Minutes 1916.

Oxford, Balliol College Archives, Balliol Boys’ Club subfonds.

Oxford, Balliol College. Cyril Bailey Papers. Fonds level description: < http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/modernmsssum.asp>

Oxford, Balliol College. AL Smith Archive, passim. Catalogue: < http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/ALSmith/alsmith02.asp>

Oxford, Balliol College. CG Stone Papers. Catalogue:  < http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/stone.asp>

“Mrs. A. L. Smith.” Times [London, England] 16 Dec. 1946: 7. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.

Secondary sources

A Goodly Heritage: Reminiscences of Arthur Lionel Smith and His Wife Mary Florence Smith by Members of Their Family. For private circulation, 1950.

Balliol College [AW & H Pickard-Cambridge]. The Balliol College War Memorial Book 1914-1919. 2 vols. Glasgow: Robert Maclehose, 1924. Online: < https://www.flickr.com/photos/balliolarchivist/sets/72157625232059789/>

Chance, Eleanor, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C J Day, T G Hassall, Mary Jessup and Nesta Selwyn. ‘Modern Oxford.’ A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 4, the City of Oxford. Ed. Alan Crossley and C R Elrington. London: Victoria County History, 1979. 181-259. British History Online. Web. 9 March 2016. <http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/oxon/vol4/pp181-259 >.

Davis, H. W. C. “Davidson, James Leigh Strachan- (1843–1916).” Rev. Richard Smail. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. 2004. 9 Mar. 2016 <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36333&gt;.

Elliott, I., ed. The Balliol College Register 1833-1933. 2nd ed. Oxford, OUP, 1934. Online: < https://www.flickr.com/photos/balliolarchivist/sets/72157625215890252/>

Goldman, Lawrence. Dons and Workers: Oxford and Adult Education Since 1850. Oxford: Clarendon, 1995.

________________. “Tawney, Richard Henry (1880–1962).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Oxford: OUP, 2004. 9 Mar. 2016 <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36425&gt;

Graham, Malcolm. Oxford in the Great War. Pen & Sword, 2014.

Hastings, Adrian. “Temple, William (1881–1944).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. May 2012. 9 Mar. 2016 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36454

Jones, JH. Balliol College: A History. 2nd ed. rev. Oxford, OUP, 2005.

Patterson, R. L. “Smith, Arthur Lionel (1850–1924).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Jan. 2008. 9 Mar. 2016 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36129

Procter, Tim. Bibliography & sources for the Catalogue of the AL Smith archive at Balliol: http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/ALSmith/alsmith04.asp

Smith, Mary Florence. Arthur Lionel Smith, Master of Balliol (1916-1924): A Biography and Some Reminiscences By His Wife. London: John Murray, 1928.

Winter, JM. ‘Balliol’s Lost Generation’, Balliol College Annual Record, 1975, 22ff.

_________. ‘Oxford and the First World War.’ The History of the University of Oxford  Volume VIII: The Twentieth Century ed. B. Harrison. Oxford: Clarendon, 1994. pp.3-26.


[1] His academic writing does not figure at all, since it ended up being largely swept away by all the other things he was doing, so that remains to be explored as a separate topic.

[2] “Mrs. A. L. Smith.” Times [London, England] 16 Dec. 1946: 7. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Chance, Eleanor, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C J Day, T G Hassall, Mary Jessup and Nesta Selwyn. ‘Modern Oxford.’ A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 4, the City of Oxford. Ed. Alan Crossley and C R Elrington. London: Victoria County History, 1979. 181-259. British History Online. Web. 9 March 2016. <http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/oxon/vol4/pp181-259 >.

[5] The Balliol College Register 1833-1933 (ed. Sir Ivo Elliott, Oxford University Press. 2nd ed.,  1934), p.57.

Patterson, R. L. ‘Smith, Arthur Lionel (1850–1924).’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Jan. 2008. 9 Mar. 2016 URL: < http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36129 >. Accessed 9 March 2016.

Procter, Tim., ‘AL Smith – Biographical Summary.’ Balliol College, 1993. URL:  <http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/ALSmith/alsmith02.asp> Accessed 9 March 2016.

Smith, Mary Florence. Arthur Lionel Smith, Master of Balliol (1916-1924): A Biography and Some Reminiscences By His Wife. London: John Murray, 1928.

[6] Re Smith’s Ford Lectures, see Oxford, Balliol College, AL Smith Archive IA.3 < http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/ALSmith/alsmith1a3.asp>

[7] see Oxford, Balliol College, AL Smith Archive IIB < http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/ALSmith/alsmith2b1.asp>

[8] For original amateur photographs of Balliol College and environs at this period, see photo albums of Francis Fortescue Urquhart, particularly Vol. 7: < https://www.flickr.com/photos/balliolarchivist/collections/72157627230774530/ >. For facts and figures about Balliol men in WW1, see JM Winter, ‘Balliol’s Lost Generation’, Balliol College Annual Record, 1975, 22ff.

[9]  The Balliol College Register 1833-1933 (ed. Sir Ivo Elliott, Oxford University Press. 2nd ed.,  1934), p.57.

[10] AL Smith By His Wife

[11] Ibid., p. 229.

[12] Ibid., p.222.

[13] Catalogue: <http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/ALSmith/alsmith2a.asp> Accessed 9 March 2016.

[14] University of Oxford Department of Continuing Education. ‘What’s In a Name? – Our History’. Online: < https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/history/whatsinaname.php> extracts from Goldman, Lawrence, ‘Dons and Workers: Oxford and Adult Education Since 1850’.

[15] Oxford, Balliol College, AL Smith Archive section IIA.6. Catalogue: < http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/ALSmith/alsmith2a.asp>

[16] Ruskin College website, ‘What We Do – Our History’: < https://www.ruskin.ac.uk/about/history/> Accessed 9 March 2016.

[17] A brief history of the WEA, published by the Sheffield Branch: https://issuu.com/weasheffieldwea/docs/history_booklet?e=1305752/1634711 . Accessed 9 March 2016. The archives of the WEA are managed by London Metropolitan University: http://www.wea.org.uk/resources/wea-archives . Accessed 9 March 2016.

[18] Hastings, Adrian. “Temple, William (1881–1944).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. May 2012. 9 Mar. 2016 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36454.; Goldman, Lawrence. “Tawney, Richard Henry (1880–1962).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Oxford: OUP, 2004. 9 Mar. 2016 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36425

[19] see Oxford, Balliol College, AL Smith Archive section IIA and C, and WEA.

[20] Toynbee Hall, a university settlement house in the East End of London, still has strong Balliol associations. Students or recent graduates volunteer to live there and work for social reform regarding poverty, homelessness, education – the same issues the Settlement has been working with since the 1880s. A brief history of Toynbee Hall: < http://www.toynbeehall.org.uk/our-history>

[21] Oxford, Balliol College, AL Smith Archive WEA 19

[22] Ibid., WEA 25.

[23] Ibid., Letters C.10.

[24] Oxford, Balliol College Archives, Balliol Boys’ Club subfonds. For an introduction to the foundation and work of the Club, particularly leading up to and during WW1, see Anna Sander, ‘The Club At War: An Exhibition at St Cross Church.’ (2014) < https://balliolarchivist.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/ww1-boys-club-exhibition/>

[25] A Goodly Heritage, p.34.

[26] AL Smith By His Wife, pp.223-4.

[27] Oxford, Balliol College, AL Smith Archive IIIA.1.3.i.

[28] Davis, H. W. C. “Davidson, James Leigh Strachan- (1843–1916).” Rev. Richard Smail. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. 2004. 9 Mar. 2016 <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36333&gt;.

[29] Oxford, Balliol College Archives, College Meeting Minutes 1916.

[30] see Oxford, Balliol College, AL Smith Archive IIIA.1.1.

[31] For biographical and career details of all Fellows, see the Balliol College Register (2nd ed.)

[32] Balliol holds papers of Cyril Bailey and CG Stone; links to descriptions at < http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/modernmsssum.asp>

[33] For more information about the history and customs of Mastership elections at Balliol College, see JH Jones, Balliol College: A History. 2nd ed. rev. Oxford, OUP, 2005.


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