Catalogue of correspondence and papers of Sir George Joseph Ball, 1924-1957

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Converted to EAD and published online 2013

Conversion to EAD supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Papers of Sir George Joseph Ball (1885-1961), 1924-1957

Papers and correspondence relating to Sir George Joseph Ball's work for the British Conservative Party as Director of Publicity, 1927-1930, and Director of the Conservative Research Department, 1930-1939.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 6652-6658
Extent: 7 shelfmarks

Biographical History

Sir George Joseph Ball (1885-1961) was Director of Publicity, 1927-1930, and Director of the Conservative Research Department, 1930-1939, for the British Conservative Party. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Scope and Content

Correspondence and papers of Sir George, relating to his work for the British Conservative Party. For a more detailed account see Bodleian Library Record, vol. 16 (1997-9), 170-3.

Separated Material

Four photographs, c. 1933-1939, are MS. Photogr. c. 78, fols. 33-38.

Restrictions on Use

Some of the material is restricted; please contact the Library for further details.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 6652, fols. 1-2].

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Ball | Sir George Joseph | 1885-1961 | knight property and mine owner

Corporate names (NCA Rules)

British Conservative Party -- Conservative Research Department

Subjects (LCSH)

Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 20th century

Descriptive List

Papers concerning the set-up and operations of the Conservative Research Department (CRD) and the National Information Bureau (NIB), 1924-1939
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 6652
Extent: 156 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-20) papers relating to the Zinovieff Letter, 1924-1931, including (fols. 1-5) journal entries by Ball relating to meetings with Agent 'X' and (fols. 8-20) related correspondence
  • (fols. 21-60) papers concerning the organization of the Conservative Central Office and its new department, CRD, 1927-1930
  • (fols. 61-82) letters to Joseph Ball, 1930-1939
  • (fols. 125-143) papers concerning the National Information Bureau, 1935, with (fols. 136-138) a note by Ball on its propaganda function for the 1935 General Election
  • (fols. 144-156) papers concerning Conservative Party members who attended fund-raising dinners but who had not yet contributed to Party funds, 1938-1939

Reports from agents to Ball, 1927-1929, on the Labour and Liberal parties
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 6653
Extent: 108 leaves

Scope and Content:

Including reports on individuals and on

  • (fols. 8-9, 17-18, 22, 30, 86-87, 93, 99-101, 104) the Co-operative Movement
  • (fols. 6, 19-24, 27-29, 33-34, 42, 45, 58, 78, 89, 91) the Trade Unions Congress
  • (fols. 11, 19-24, 27-31, 33, 38-39, 45, 49, 58-59, 77-79) the Daily Herald
  • (fols. 33, 50, 59) cinema vans and propaganda films

Correspondence and reports, 1928-1948
Shelfmark: MSS. Eng. c. 6654-6655 = RES
Extent: 213, 321 leaves

Scope and Content:

Correspondence and reports relating to accounts set up to finance the work of the Conservative Research Department with (c. 6654, fols. 59a-60b) signed deeds of the Lombard Trust, 1940-6

Personal papers of Ball, 1922-1949
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 6656
Extent: 161 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-26) correspondence of Ball, 1930-49, arranged alphabetically by correspondent
  • (fols. 27-47) journal notes and correspondence, c. 1935-1948, relating to Galeazzo Ciano, Ciano's Diplomatic Papers: being a record of nearly 200 conversations held during the years 1936-1942 (London, 1948)
  • (fols. 48-50) confidential reports concerning Ball, 1922-c.1923
  • (fols. 51-52) admittance passes for
    • (fol. 51) the Treasury Chambers, n.d.
    • (fol. 52) the Palace of Westminster, 1940
  • (fols. 53-152) papers and newspaper cuttings relating to Guy Burgess and Ball, 1956-7, including
    • (fols. 53-55, 62-67, 69-70, 81, 100-108, 113-114) various articles on Guy Burgess
    • (fols. 56-60, 68, 71-80, 82-87, 93, 110-112, 115-117, 126, 130-149, 1957-1958) correspondence relating to allegations against Ball
    • (fols. 88-94, 95-99, 118-119, 120-122, 124-125, 127-129, 150-152) actions taken in response

Papers relating to Maundy Gregory and honours for sale, 1925-1938
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 6657
Extent: 173 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 142-161) journal notes by Ball
  • (fols. 162-172) a report on honours for sale, 1928

Papers relating to honours for sale c.1933-1939
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 6658
Extent: 105 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-13) papers concerning Maundy Gregory
  • (fols. 28-105) correspondence of Ball relating to Harry Oakes and honours for sale, 1938-1939, arranged alphabetically by correspondent

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
13 January 2014