Fonds MCKW - Papers of R. B. McKerrow

Zone d'identification




Papers of R. B. McKerrow


  • 1858-1945 (Production)

Niveau de description


Étendue matérielle et support

12 boxes

Zone du contexte

Nom du producteur


Notice biographique

Ronald Brunlees McKerrow was born in Putney in 1872, the son of a civil engineer, and was educated at Harrow, King’s College, London, and Trinity College, Cambridge. After leaving university he spent three years teaching English in Tokyo before beginning a period of intense literary and bibliographical study, largely at the British Museum, two important results of which were his edition of the works of Thomas Nashe (1904-10) and his Notes on Bibliographical Evidence (1914). The latter, revised as An Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students (1927), became a standard work. From 1914 McKerrow also gave lectures in English literature, and later bibliography, at King’s College, London. In 1917 he was appointed managing director of the publishers Sidgwick & Jackson, and this was his main occupation till his death, but he was also honorary secretary of the Bibliography Society from 1912 to 1934, editor of the Review of English Studies (which he founded) from 1925 to 1940, and editor of The Library from 1934 to 1937. In 1929 he accepted an invitation to prepare an edition of Shakespeare for the Clarendon Press, but, though he prepared a good deal of material, only a general textual introduction ever saw print.

Histoire archivistique

Source immédiate d'acquisition ou de transfert

The collection came into the library as two separate accessions—the first from McKerrow’s family in the 1990s; the second, though ultimately from the same source, from an auction sale about 2005. No records were kept of the respective contents of the two accessions and they have been catalogued as a single archive.

Zone du contenu et de la structure

Portée et contenu

This collection contains correspondence of McKerrow, mainly relating to bibliography and English literature, with various writings by him on the same subjects; early attempts at fiction, verse, and drama; and some personal papers. There are also some family papers, including papers relating to the firm of Brunlees & McKerrow and the estate of Sir James Brunlees, and letters written by McKerrow’s son Malcolm during the Second World War, describing his experiences with the Non-Combatant Corps and the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps.

Évaluation, élimination et calendrier de conservation


Mode de classement

The collection has been divided into four main classes—correspondence, writings, personal papers, and family papers. Some of the files within these classes represent original groupings of documents; others are artificial. See the notes at file-level.

Zone des conditions d'accès et d'utilisation

Conditions d’accès

Conditions de reproduction

Langue des documents

Écriture des documents

Notes de langue et graphie

Caractéristiques matérielle et contraintes techniques

Instruments de recherche

Zone des sources complémentaires

Existence et lieu de conservation des originaux

Existence et lieu de conservation des copies

Unités de description associées

Another accession of McKerrow papers is catalogued as Add. MS. a. 355. The Library also holds McKerrow’s own annotated copies of some of his publications (Adv. c. 25. 72–82), and loose papers extracted from these have been catalogued as Add. MS. a. 457 and Add. MS. a. 460.

Note de publication

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Identifiant de la description

Identifiant du service d'archives

Règles et/ou conventions utilisées


Niveau de détail

Dates de production, de révision, de suppression

This catalogue was compiled by A. C. Green in 2007.




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