Catalogue of the Archive of Iona and Peter Opie, c.1930-1999

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Svenja Kunze and Sarah Thiel
2018


Catalogued with the generous support of the Wellcome Trust

This is the third and final edition of the catalogue.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
A   Children's papers and covering correspondence c.1947-1989
    A.1   Children's papers and covering correspondence pre-1960 c.1949-1981, 1993
    A.2   Children's papers and covering correspondence from 1960 c.1947-1989
    A.3   Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competitions c.1951-1961
    A.4   Other related material c.1950-1982
B   Working papers c.1930s-1990s [and some earlier collected material]
    B.1   Opie subject files c.1930s-1990s [and some earlier collected material]
    B.2   Other working papers c.1940s-1990s
C   Publications 1936-1999
    C.1   Opie books 1945-1989, 2003
    C.2   Other Opie publications and related material 1936-1999
D   Professional correspondence 1946-1998
E   Personal papers 1889-2006
    E.1   Personal papers, correspondence and memorabilia 1889-2006
    E.2   Peter Opie diaries 1933-1959
    E.3   Peter Opie scrapbooks and notes 1937-1979, 1992
    E.4   Peter Opie early publications and writings 1936-1948
F   Collected material and miscellaneous c.1665-2011
    F.1   Book Collecting c.1920s-1991
    F.2   Historic childhood and children's book ephemera c.1665-1995
    F.3   A-Z Subject files n.d. [c. early-19th to late-20th century]
    F.4   A-Z Newspaper cuttings c.1987-2011
    F.5   Papers of other children's book and ephemera collectors c.1893-1970s
    F.6   Miscellaneous c.1904-1935


Archive of Iona and Peter Opie

1665-2011

Abstract:
Working papers of Iona Opie (1923-2017) and Peter Opie (1918-1982), folklorists and book collectors, with some personal and family papers and collected material.

Extent: 54 Linear metres, 362 physical shelfmarks
Language(s) of Material: English

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 1-362

Biographical History

Iona Opie (1923-2017) and Peter Opie (1918-1982) were a husband-and-wife team researching childhood folklore. They started their work in the 1940s, when the birth of their first child sparked off their interest in nursery rhymes. Over more than four decades, they extended their research into many other areas of children’s culture, including children's literature, play and games, children’s language, customs, beliefs and superstitions.

The Opies were avid collectors, and over the decades amassed one of the world’s largest collections of children’s books and printed ephemera, covering children’s literature from the 16th to the 20th century. The Opies' collection of children’s literature – over 20,000 pieces – was donated to the Bodleian Library in 1988.

However, in researching children’s culture, the Opies not only relied on books published for children. Instead, they also wanted to collect the oral traditions of childhood – the rhymes, songs and games, the language and customs of the playground – and in doing so, they took the approach of the collecting these from the children themselves.

In November 1951, the Opies placed an advert in The Sunday Times, seeking help from teachers in collecting children’s lore and language - the idea being that schoolchildren would answer a set of questions about their counting out rhymes, local superstitions, cheers, slang and abbreviations, and the teachers would then send the replies to the Opies. Over the years this method evolved into encouraging the children to freely describe their games and playground activities, hobbies and preferences. From the 1950s through to the 1990s, the Opies received thousands of replies from children from schools all over the UK, often with accompanying letters from the teachers describing the local playground culture from their perspective, and sending in school journals, photographs, newspaper clippings and other background information. With some of their correspondents, the Opies stayed in touch over years, allowing them to trace the development of games and playground crazes at a particular school or in a particular area over time.

To process their data, the Opies developed a daily work routine at their home in West Liss, Hampshire: Iona Opie would sort and analyse the incoming information and compile working materials, adding survey responses, secondary literature and bibliographical notes. Peter Opie would then write up the results in a first draft, on which Iona Opie would comment on the basis of her data, and so on. This produced an ever-expanding system of working files, each one relating to a particular game, activity or custom. Iona Opie's meticulous approach to data management was crucial to keeping physical and intellectual control of the complex and extensive collection of research material.

Neither of the Opies had an academic background, as they were very much private researchers and authors, not associated with any academic institution. However, the Opies published more than 20 books – anthologies of traditional nursery rhymes, songs and fairy tales, as well as observations and analysis of children’s play and games in the street and in the playground, and the lore and language of schoolchildren - which were critically acclaimed for their contribution to folklore and childhood research, as well as being popular with non-academic readers. Amongst many other honours and awards recognizing their work, Iona and Peter Opie both received honorary MAs from the University of Oxford in 1962.

After Peter Opie's death in 1982, Iona Opie continued to work on the many books that were still projected, before retiring in the 1990s from more than 50 years of childlore research.

cf. Opie, Peter Mason (1918-1982) in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Scope and Content

The Opie Archive ['Opie Working Papers'] comprises:

Restrictions on Access

Material of a sensitive personal or corporate nature is closed.

Acquisition

The bulk of the archive was donated by Iona Opie in various tranches between 1991 and 2006. Some additional manuscript material and ephemera were transferred to the archive from the Opie Collection of Children's Literature at the Bodleian Library in 2017.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, where available, e.g. MS. Opie 1, fols. 1-2, or else followed by shelfmark and file or folder number, e.g. MS. Opie 47, folder 1].

Related Material

The Opie Collection of Children's Literature (16th to 20th century children's books and printed ephemera) is held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This collection of historic children’s books contains more than 25,000 books and periodicals and was acquired by the Bodleian in 1988. At the time the collection was valued at just over a million pounds, and in characteristically generous style Mrs Opie offered it to the Bodleian for just half the market value. A public appeal was launched to raise the £500,000 needed for the purchase by Hugo Brunner and Gillian Avery under the patronage of the Prince of Wales. It was an outstanding success, attracting contributions from many sources, from school children to the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

The British Library, London, holds the Opie Collection of Children's Games and Songs (sound recordings made by Iona Opie during her field research).

Personal name(s) (NCA Rules)

Opie | Iona Margaret Balfour | nee Archibald | 1923-2017 | book collector and historian of the lore of childhood
Opie | Peter Mason | 1918-1982 | book collector and historian of the lore of childhood

Subject(s)

20th century
Book collecting
Children's literature
Folklore and children

A   Children's papers and covering correspondence c.1947-1989

Introduction

As part of their early research in nursery rhymes, the Opies had started in 1946 to write to the newspapers and magazines, such as The Sunday Times or The Times Literary Supplement, to ask readers to send rhymes and songs they remembered from their childhood.

When, after the completion of The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951), the Opies turned their attention to the lore and language of school children, they again wrote to The Sunday Times to seek help from readers in collecting “any accounts of skipping, ball bouncing, or counting-out rhymes, catch rhymes, riddle rhymes or tongue-twisters; also popular sayings, nominees, back chat, youthful oaths, and other joys, seemly or unseemly, traditional among schoolchildren from seven to fourteen.” ( The Sunday Times, 4 Nov 1951) Amongst the replies were many letters by teachers offering help, prompting the Opies to develop their first questionnaire ‘The Oral Lore of School Children’ in order to collect the accounts of childlore in a more systematic way, and directly from the children. This questionnaire evolved throughout the 1950s, and yielded thousands of individual replies.

Over the years, the Opies developed a large network of contacts from all over the UK. These contacts were usually teachers who would ask their pupils to answer the questionnaires. Each of the contacts was assigned an individual reference number by the Opies, linking to a series of address books which contain the correspondents contact details and information on their activity, when last contacted, which material received etc. (cf. MS. Opie 215). These reference numbers played a crucial role in keeping intellectual and physical control of the ever growing collection of research material.

After the completion of The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren in 1959, the Opies' research interest shifted from a focus on language and verbal traditions towards games and playground activities, which is also indicated by the use of a new questionnaire ('The Games and Crazes of Schoolchildren') from 1959/1960. This new questionnaire, used throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, produced a second large fund of children’s papers, which the Opies used as the raw material for their books on children’s games, in particular for Children’s Games in Street and Playground, published in 1969.

Many of the children’s papers are copied out or clipped, as the Opies used to excerpt descriptions of rhymes, games or activities of particular interest and add them into their subject-based working files. These files can now be found in series B. Working Papers.


Scope and Content

Children’s papers sent in reply to the Opies' questionnaires, ranging from a simple list of yes/no answers to short essays freely describing customs and beliefs, sayings and terminology, chants and rhymes, games, crazes and activities. The children's papers, grouped by school, usually come with covering letters and notes by the teacher or other Opie contact who collected the material, and often with additional material such as school magazines and prospectuses, newspaper cuttings, maps and photographs. The material also contains some (semi-)personal correspondence with the contacts, e.g. Christmas cards or personal news. The series also includes original children’s papers obtained from other sources, chiefly a large number of children’s entries to essay competitions, dating from the 1950s and early 1960s, run by the Camberwell Public Libraries in south London.

Arrangement

The children's papers and covering correspondence in reply to Opie questionnaires are arranged as found in two main sequences: A.1 material collected before c.1960, and A.2 papers from c.1960 onwards. A third sequence of children's papers (A.3) comprises a collection of children's essays originally submitted to essay competitions run by the Camberwell Public Libraries. A.4 comprises other source material of children's rhymes and games, as well as papers relating to the setting up and running of the Opie questionnaires.


A.1   Children's papers and covering correspondence pre-1960 c.1949-1981, 1993

Scope and Content

Children's papers with covering correspondence, mainly 1951-1959, in reply to the Opies' 'The Oral Lore of School Children' questionnaires. Also includes some later correspondence with the initial contacts.

Arrangement

Arranged by Opie reference number, largely keeping the original arrangement of the material. The Opie reference numbers are quoted in square brackets.


Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Opie 1-13

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1951-1959
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 1
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 464 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1952-1959
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 2
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 596 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1951-1958, 1993
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 3
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 612 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1949-1960 mainly 1951-1953
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 4
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 547 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1952-1955
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 5
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 500 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1951-1957
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 6
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 647 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1952-1964 mainly 1952-1954
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 7
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 636 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1952-1981 mainly 1952-1953
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 8
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 638 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1952-1960 mainly 1952-1953
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 9
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 628 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: 1953-1955
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 10
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 659 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1954-1968 mainly 1954-1955
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 11
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 677 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1954-1969 mainly 1954-1957
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 12
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 665 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1951-1957
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 13
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 403 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

A.2   Children's papers and covering correspondence from 1960 c.1947-1989

Scope and Content

Children's papers with covering correspondence, mainly 1960s and some 1970s replies to the Opies 'The Games and Crazes of Schoolchildren' questionnaire, including a large number of contributions collected during work placements at catholic (primary) schools in the wider London area by teacher training students of Maria Assumption Training College in c.1962. Also includes some earlier and later material without an Opie reference number, which was filed with the sequence. Presumably this material was collected directly by Iona Opie at local schools, or on travels.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by place name, largely keeping the original arrangement of the material. The Opie reference numbers are quoted in square brackets.


Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Opie 14-33

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1964
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 14
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 585 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1974
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 15
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 417 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1958-1968
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 16
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 493 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1973
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 17
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 440 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1973
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 18
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 487 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1947-1988 mainly 1960-1969
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 19
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 593 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1963
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 20
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 499 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1981 mainly 1960-1962
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 21
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 587 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1962
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 22
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 527 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: 1962
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 23
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 600 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: 1962
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 24
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 504 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1962
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 25
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 612 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: 1959-1976
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 26
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 378 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1989 mainly 1960-1973
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 27
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 445 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1960-1971
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 28
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 601 leaves

Scope and Content

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1962-1965
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 29
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 353 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1951-1963 mainly 1960-1963
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 30
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 482 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1959-1963
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 31
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 509 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1959-1964
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 32
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 402 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's papers and covering correspondence
Date: c.1952-1971 mainly 1960-1962
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 33
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 513 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

A.3   Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competitions c.1951-1961

Organisational History

In March 1955 the Opies wrote to the Camberwell Public Libraries [Opie reference 834] to enquire if they could use the essays written by children on the subject of 'Comics' for the libraries' 1954 Junior Essay Competition as background information for their research on the lore, language and games of school children. The library not only gave the 'Comics' essays to the Opies to keep with their collection of children's papers, but also sent the essays on the other 1954 competition topics, as well as essays from previous years. The Opies later also received the essays from the 1955, 1956 and 1961 competitions - hundreds of essays each year.

The essays were originally submitted to one of the Camberwell Public Library branches, usually via a school in the south London area (then the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell). Most of the children writing were between 9 and 12 years old, but there are also some essays by younger children (age 6-8) and by teenagers (age 13-14 and very few age 15-16).

Few of the essays are dated, but they can be attributed to competition years via the topics. The Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competition topics, as represented in the Opies' papers, were:

1951: 'What I did on November 5th', ' The best way to spend a winter evening'; 1952: 'Why I like television', 'Three books on a desert island', 'What I want to be when I leave school'; 1954: 'Comics', 'My friends and why I like them', 'All about my neighbourhood'; 1955: 'My camping holiday', 'Who I would like to be, and why', 'One Pound to spend, and how to spend it'; 1956: 'Why I like Camberwell', 'The country I would most like to visit', 'A visit to the moon', 'My favourite hero'; 1961: 'The games I play with my friends'.

The competitions in 1951 to 1956 seem to have started in autumn each year, with a closing date in the next year. Most of the essays from the 1954 competition, for example, would have been written in November or December 1954, or in January 1955.


Scope and Content

Children's essays submitted to the annual essay competitions run by the Camberwell Public Libraries, with some related correspondence between the Opies and the Camberwell Public Libraries Chief Librarians.

Arrangement

The original arrangement, a mixture of arrangement by essay topic, competition year and/or library branch, has been kept. Individual pages or essays obviously misplaced during previous use have filed back in the appropriate place. Original notes to separate groups of essays, e.g. by age group or topic, have been left in place as found.


Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Opie 34-43

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competitions 1951 and 1952
Date: c.1951-1952
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 34
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 560 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competitions 1952 and 1954
Date: c.1952-1955
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 35
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 644 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competition 1954
Date: c.1954-1955
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 36
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 430 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competitions 1954 and 1956
Date: c.1954-1958
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 37
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 510 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competition 1956
Date: c.1956-1957
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 38
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 489 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competition 1956
Date: c.1956-1957
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 39
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 573 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competitions 1955 and 1956
Date: c.1955-1957
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 40
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 610 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competitions 1955 and 1956
Date: c.1955-1957
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 41
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 600 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competition 1955
Date: c.1955-1956
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 42
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 640 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Camberwell Public Libraries Essay Competition 1961
Date: c.1961
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 43
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 593 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

A.4   Other related material c.1950-1982

Scope and Content

(Children's) papers on rhymes and games obtained from other sources, and papers and correspondence relating to collecting the children's papers, including drafts of the Opies' questionnaires.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Opie 44-46

Material relating to 'Bairn Rhymes of the North'
Date: c.1959-1960
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 44
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 355 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Other source material of children's rhymes and games
Date: c.1950-1982
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 45
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 775 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Papers concerned with the setting up and running of the Opie school lore surveys
Date: c.1951-1977
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 46
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 262 leaves

Scope and Content

Comprises:

B   Working papers c.1930s-1990s [and some earlier collected material]

Scope and Content

The Opies’ working papers cover a range of subjects, such as nursery rhymes, children’s literature, songs and games, childlore, language and traditions, and their historical, literary, sociological and geographical context. The files pertain to research carried out by the Opies for their various publications, as well as other related subjects that were of interest to them.

Most of the working papers consist of 'subject files', housed in hardcover binders. In these working files, which formed the basis of the Opies' published work, Iona Opie compiled, by topic, research notes and drafts, extracts of material written by children in response to the Opies’ school surveys, newspaper cuttings, journal articles and other printed material, letters from the Opies’ many correspondents, bibliographical notes, photographs, postcards and other ephemera, including extracts from 19th and early 20th century publications on rhymes and games, and newspaper cuttings and correspondence obtained from other researchers and collectors. The files also include material on rhymes, games and traditions from countries other than the UK.

Further working papers include material on children's books, research notes, bibliographical references, newspaper cuttings, and photocopies of research material.

Arrangement

The arrangement of the loose-leaf files tries, as far as possible, to reflect the Opies’ own original arrangement. Further material, which did not originally form part of the main Opie working files series, but which also relates to the Opies’ work and research, have been added.


B.1   Opie subject files c.1930s-1990s [and some earlier collected material]

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 47-151

'Esau I: Book Ownership, Mnemonics'; 'Esau II'
Date: c.1940s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 47
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

Scope and Content

'Nursery Rhymes: A-Betty, No. 42'; 'Nursery Rhymes: No. 43, Billy - end of B, 43-85'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 48
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Nursery Rhymes: C (end of C in next file) 86-111'; 'Nursery Rhymes: end of C, D-E, 112-153'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 49
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Nursery Rhymes: F, 154-176'; 'Nursery Rhymes: G, 178-198'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 50
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Nursery Rhymes: H-I, 199-252'; '[Nursery Rhymes]: J, 253-284'
Date: c.1940s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 51
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Nursery Rhymes: K-Lo, 285-311'; 'Nursery Rhymes: Lu-Mi, 312-352'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 52
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Nursery Rhymes: Mo to end of M, 353-369'; 'Nursery Rhymes: N-O, 370-394'; 'Nursery Rhymes: P, 394-431
Date: c.1940s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 53
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Nursery Rhymes: Q-R, 432-461'; Nursery Rhymes: S, 462-494
Date: c.1940s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 54
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Nursery Rhymes: T, 495-523 (no U or V)'; 'Nursery Rhymes: W-Z, 524-550'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 55
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'NR [Nursery Rhymes]: Adds. A-I'; 'NR [Nursery Rhymes]: Adds. J-Z'
Date: c.1930s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 56
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'NR [Nursery Rhymes] I: Traditional Rhymes'; 'NR [Nursery Rhymes] II: "Buff Book"'
Date: c.1940s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 57
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'NR [Nursery Rhymes] III(a): Nursery Rhyme Books'; 'NR [Nursery Rhymes] III(b): Nursery Rhyme Books'
Date: c.1940s-1950s and 1980s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 58
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

Scope and Content

The index to files NR III (a) and (b) is included at the back of file NR IV in MS. Opie 59.

'NR [Nursery Rhymes] IV: Song books & miscellaneous Scottish songs, Ballads'; 'NR [Nursery Rhymes] V: Biblio lists, Analyses, Notes'
Date: c.1940s-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 59
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'ODNR [ The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes] Prelims I: Tunes / term "NR", Quality, Uses, Trans[lations]'; 'ODNR Prelims II: Reform, Meanings, Illustrations'; 'ODNR Prelims III: Mother Goose's history, Parodies'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 60
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Improper: General'; 'Improper: Bawdy A-K'; 'Improper: Too L-Z'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 61
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Traditional Rhymes: A-L'; 'Traditional Rhymes: M-Z'
Date: c.1940s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 62
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Family Anthology & 'Slick' Rhymes'; 'Autograph Album [rhymes]'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 63
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Children’s Verse: Oral Transmission'; 'Traditional Fun'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 64
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Fun I'; 'Fun II'
Date: c.1940s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 65
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Jokelore & Tongue Twisters I'; 'Jolklore II'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cutting]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 66
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Riddles I: contemporary'; 'Riddles: printed collections, literary refs./older oral collectings'
Date: c.1940s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 67
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Misc I: Folk Play & Pantomime, Misc. Literature, Periodicals, Foreign Literature'; 'Student Songs'; 'Street Lore'
Date: c.1940s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 68
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Wit & Repartee: material for Ch. 3 of LL of S [ The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren]'; 'Guile'
Date: c.1950s-1960s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 69
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Parodies'; 'Topical Rhymes'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 70
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Oral Legislation' [or 'Respected Words']; 'Insults, "Names"' [or 'Jibes, Nicknames &c. Personal Peculiarities & Failings']
Date: c.1950s [and some earlier and later material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 71
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

Scope and Content

'Oral Legislation' [or 'Respected Words'] file includes a letter about the truce term 'faynites' by J.R.R. Tolkien addressed to the Editor of The Sunday Times, to be forwarded to the Opies (1951), and a subsequent letter from Tolkien's biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, requesting a photocopy of the letter (1978).

'Derision, Food, Money etc.'; 'Friendship, Tortures, Punishments, "Words"'
Date: c.1950s-1970s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 72
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Partisanship, Customs - non-seasonal'; 'Authority, Teachers, Police, Truants, Beating'; 'Pranks'
Date: c.1950s-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 73
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Schoolchild Adds. [1]-24, Intro., Fun'; 'School Adds., Fun, 25-40'; 'School Adds., 41-72, Wit and Rep[artee], Guile'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 74
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'School Adds., 73-97, Riddles, Parody & Improp[riety]'; 'School Adds., 98-118, Topical [I]'; 'School Adds., Topical II, 119-120'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 75
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'School Adds., 121-153, Legislation'; [School Adds., 154, Schoolchild Language]; 'School Adds., 155-174, food, nicknames and epithets (vogue words)'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 76
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'School Adds.,175-231, unpopular children, half-belief'; 'School Adds., 232-250, Cal[endar] Cus[toms], Jan[uary]-Good Fri[day]'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 77
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'School Adds. 250-266, Cal[endar] Cus[toms], Easter-May'; 'School Adds. 266-292, Cal[endar] Cus[toms], June-Dec[ember]'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 78
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'School Adds., 293-305, Occasional Customs'; 'School Adds., 306-342, Curiosities, Friendship'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 79
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'School Adds., 343-360, Partisanship'; 'School Adds., 361 -376, Child and Authority'; 'School Adds., 377-392, Pranks'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 80
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Embryo: notes, quotes, cuttings, thoughts, material for school lore books'; 'Playground and Street' [2 early prospectuses]
Date: c.1940s-1950s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 81
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file, 1 folder)

'Acting: Witch (Mother, the cakes are burning)'; 'Catching: Den & Prisoner'
Date: c.1950s-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 82
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Catching Games: Side to side I'; 'Catching Games: Side to side II'
Date: c.1950-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 83
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Chain He'; 'Chaser at disadvantage'; 'Suspense' chasing games'
Date: c.1950s-1960s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 84
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Conkers'; 'Contests and trials of strength'
Date: c.1950s-1960s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 85
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Counting Out I: Dip 1-30'; 'Counting Out II: Dip 31-[110]'
Date: c.1950s-1960s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 86
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Counting Out: general & gibberish'; 'Counting Out: other ways'
Date: c.1950s-1960s and 1985 [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 87
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Daring games'; 'Dramatic games'; 'Duels'
Date: c.1950s-1960s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 88
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Farmer, Farmer'; 'Guessing Games'; 'Guessing-and-chasing games'
Date: c.1950s-1960s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 89
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Hide & Seek'; 'Hide & Seek games: Snake, Sardines etc.'; 'Racing-home Hide & Seek'
Date: c.1950s-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 90
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Hunting, Tracking, Stalking'; 'Jump Jimmy Knacker'; 'Leap-frog Games & Kick The Can'
Date: c.1950s-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 91
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Make Believe I'; 'Make Believe II'; 'Releavo'
Date: c.1950s-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 92
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Racing Games [I]'; 'Racing Games [II]: Puss in Corner'; 'Racing games across road: May I? etc.'
Date: c.1950s-1960s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 93
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Tig: 1-25'; 'Tig & Ball Tig: 26-[42]'
Date: c.1950s-1960s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 94
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Sanctuary Tig'; 'Release Tig, Rescue Games'; 'Tricks, Memory, Team Games'
Date: c.1950s-1970s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 95
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Games General: A-K'; 'Games General: L-O'; 'Games General: P-Z'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 96
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Games: General & Classification, Glossary'; 'Organisation of Games'; 'Adult & Old Games, Archaic: Adult (Pub) Games'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 97
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Games & Play: Theory'; 'Games Adds. - Prelims'
Date: c.1960s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 98
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Games Adds., A-J'; 'Games Adds., K-Z'
Date: c.1960s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 99
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Games lists from schools in 1960s survey'; 'Games lists from schools since 1968'
Date: c.1960s-1970s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 100
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Games books, biblio[graphies] I'; 'Games books and others, biblio[graphies] II'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 101
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Games books, biblio[graphies] III, F-Z'; 'Sociological I'; 'Sociological I(a)'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 102
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Sociological II'; 'Sociological III'; 'Games: Sociological IV'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 103
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Seasons'; 'Adult Interference'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 104
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Fivestones General I'; 'Fivestones General II'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 105
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Fivestones: Variations & Terms III'; 'Aeroplane Hopscotch'; 'Hopscotch I, General'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 106
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Hopscotch II, General & Terms'; 'Hopscotch III, Games'
Date: c.1950s-1970s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 107
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Marbles Ia, General & Terms'; 'Marbles Ib, General & Terms'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 108
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Marbles IIa: Holie, Killer (Three Holes)'; 'Marbles IIb: Ringie, Follows'
Date: c.1950s-1980s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 109
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Marbles Iaa, Adult, During Lent, Championships, Unsorted terms'; 'Marbles III, minor games and variations'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 110
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Pitching'; 'Gambling'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 111
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Cigarette Cards'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 112
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

'Tops'; 'Tipcat'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 113
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Ball Games: General'; 'Ball Games, A-F'; 'Ball Games, G-R'; 'Ball Games, S-Z'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 114
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 files)

'Ball Games: Bad Eggs'; 'Cannon / Duckstone'; 'Catching'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 115
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Football I: History, Songs'; 'Football, Street/Playground, Minor Variants'
Date: c.1950s-1970s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 116
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'King Ball'; 'Rounders'; 'Throwing At / Aiming'
Date: c.1950s-1970s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 117
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Ball Bounce: General I'; 'Ball Bounce: General II'
Date: c.1950s-1970s and 1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 118
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Ball Bounce I, 1-7'; 'Ball Bounce II, 8-38'
Date: c.1950s-1970s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 119
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Ball Bounce III, 39-148'; 'Ball Bounce IV, 149-[244]'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 120
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games, A-BI'; 'Singing Games, BL - end of B'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 121
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games, contemporary C-E'; 'Dukes a-Riding'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 122
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games, F-Go'; 'Singing Games, Gra-Gre'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 123
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games, H-J'; 'Singing Games, K-L'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 124
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'London Bridge'; 'Singing Games, M-Mi'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 125
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games, Mo-Mz'; 'Singing Games, N-O'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 126
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games, P-Q'; 'Singing Games, R'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 127
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games, Ring o' Roses'; 'Singing Games, S-SA'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 128
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games: SH-SI'; 'Spain - Three Brethren from Spain'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 129
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games, SO-T'; 'Singing Games, U-WA'; 'Singing Games, WE-WH'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 130
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Singing Games, Wi-Z'; 'Singing Games, General I/II'
Date: c.1950s-1970s and [and some earlier and later cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 131
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Singing Games: Foreign, not direct parallels'; 'Tunes'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 132
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Clapping Songs I'; 'Clapping II'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 133
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Dance Games'; 'Caroles'; 'Singing Game & People [in the Playground]: Adds.'
Date: c.1960s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 134
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Exercises, small physical amusements'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 135
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

'Skipping, 0-14'; 'Skipping, 15-30'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 136
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Skipping, 30(1)-40'; 'Skipping, 40(1)-48(1)'; 'Skipping, 49A-[66]'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 137
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Skipping, 70-100'; 'Skipping, 101-169'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 138
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Skipping, 172- 220'; 'Skipping, 221-316'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 139
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Skipping, 317-[421]'; 'Skipping General'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 140
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Skipping Terms I: 1-12(1)'; 'Skipping Terms I, 13-16(1)'
Date: c.1950s-1970s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 141
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Skipping Terms I, 16(2)-18'; 'Skipping Terms II(a), continuous'; 'Skipping Terms II(b), High, low, Moon & stars &c.'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 142
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Skipping Terms III, Actions in Rope'; 'Skipping, 1. Early History; 2. Seasonal/Ceremonial'
Date: c.1950s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 143
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Activities A-B'; 'Activities C'
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 144
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Activities D-G'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 145
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

'Activities H-K'; 'Activities L-Q'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 146
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Activities R-SO'; 'Activities SP-Z'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 147
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Playground: General'; 'Playgrounds and other places'
Date: c.1950s-1990s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 148
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files)

'Liss School Playground, -1971' [1960-1972]; 'Liss, 10 May '72 to 18 Dec '73'; 'Liss School Playground I: carbons & general, 1974-' [1981 and c.1970s-1990s]
Date: c.1960s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 149
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

'Liss Playground II, 1974-July 1975'; 'Liss School Playground III, Sept 1975-Dec '77'; 'Liss School Playground IV, 1978-[1980]'
Date: 1974-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 150
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 files)

Restrictions on Access:

One entry in 'Liss Playground II, 1974-July 1975' is closed. This is marked as (=Res.) in the file.


'Liss Playground V, 2 Oct 1978 to [Jul] 1980'; 'Liss School Playground VI, 1/81-11/83'; 7 spiralbound notepads with Iona Opie's playground notes
Date: 1978-1991
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 151
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 files, 1 folder)

Scope and Content

Also includes seven Liss School playground notebooks.

B.2   Other working papers c.1940s-1990s

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 152-168

'Children's Books A' [Adams-Austin]
Date: c.1940s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 152
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

'Children's Books B' [Bagnold-Busch]
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 153
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

'Children's Books C' [Callcott-Cundall]
Date: c.1940s-1980s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 154
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

'Children's Books Bibliography D-E' [Dahl-Ewing]
Date: c.1940s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 155
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

'Children's Books Bibliography F-G' [Fables-Grimm]
Date: c.1950s-1980s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 156
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

Children's Books H-K [Haggard-Knox]
Date: c.1940s-1980s [and some earlier material]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 157
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

'Children's Books Bibliography L-O' [La Fontaine-Opie]
Date: c.1950s-1970s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 158
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

Children's Books P-S [Paper-Summerly]
Date: c.1950s-1980s [and some earlier cuttings]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 159
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

'Children's Books Bibliography T-Z' [Tabart-Yonge]
Date: c.1950s-1980s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 160
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

Nursery Rhymes [scrapbook]
Date: c.1946-1949
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 161
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

Scrapbook
Date: 1946
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 162
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook compiled by Peter Opie containing newspaper articles and notes on Christmas traditions, origins, customs, names which have become words, nicknames, records, superstition, c.1946.

Newspaper cuttings
Date: c.1940s-1980s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 163
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Miscellaneous newspaper cuttings, mostly relating to children's books, nursery rhymes and book collecting.

'Folklore Theory: notes & ideas for lectures'; 'Folklore Lectures' [newspaper cuttings]
Date: c.1940s-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 164
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file, 1 folder)

British Museum Library tickets
Date: c.1940s-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 165
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Bibliographical notes and references
Date: c.1940s-1980s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 166
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Miscellaneous research notes and papers
Date: c.1940s-1960s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 167
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Photocopies of research materials
Date: c.1960s-1990s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 168
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content
Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


Related Material

The material the 'Catalogue of tapes of street games from England and Scotland' (Folder 1) refers to is held as part of the Webb Collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.


C   Publications 1936-1999

Scope and Content

Material relating to the Opies' publications, such as notes and drafts, manuscripts and typescripts, illustrations and paste-ups, corrections, proof copies, and correspondence relating to the book planning and production process, mainly for the books the Opies worked on jointly before Peter Opie's death in 1982. Also includes papers relating to book proposals and publishing projects not realised, and to Opie articles, lectures, exhibitions and broadcasts, as well as book reviews, and biographical pieces and interviews with the Opies.

C.1   Opie books 1945-1989, 2003

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 169-205

Lapworth's Pocket Dictionary [1947]; I Saw Esau (1947); Ditties for the Nursery [1949]
Date: c.1945-1954
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 169
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Drafts, correspondence and notes and relating to, the Opies' early publications:

Ditties for the Nursery [1949] (1954)
Date: c.1948-1954
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 170
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951)
Date: c.1945-1948
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 171
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Material relating to early versions of a book on nursery rhymes (later to become The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes), comprising:

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951)
Date: c.1946-1954, 2003
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 172
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Material relating to early versions of a book on nursery rhymes (later to become The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes), correspondence and publicity, including:

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951)
Date: 1948
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 173
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Manuscript [of 'A Dictionary of Traditional Nursery Rhymes'], 1948.

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951)
Date: 1948
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 174
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Typescript of 'A Dictionary of Traditional Nursery Rhymes', 1948.

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951)
Date: 1948
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 175
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Material relating to the revision on the 1948 version ('Dictionary of Traditional Nursery Rhymes'), including:

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951)
Date: c.1950-1951
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 176
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Typescript with corrections ('Printer's copy'), c.1950-1951.

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951)
Date: 1951
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 177
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951)
Date: 1951-1979
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 178
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Iona and Peter Opie's working copy with comments and corrections for revised editions, 1952, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1973, 1975 and 1979, with some loose notes.

The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book (1955)
Date: c.1954-1955
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 179
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book (1955)
Date: 1954-1955
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 180
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book (1955)
Date: c.1951-1955
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 181
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book (1955)
Date: c.1954-1955, 1984-1986
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 182
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book (1955)
Date: 1972-1976; 1989
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 183
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 folder)

Scope and Content

Papers relating to reprints of The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, including correspondence, corrections, proofs, 1972-1976 and 1989.

The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959)
Date: 1950s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 184
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Manuscript, with typescript inserts, and corrections, n.d. [1951-1959], (Preface, contents, and chapters 1- 11).

The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959)
Date: 1950s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 185
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 folder)

Scope and Content

Manuscript with typescript inserts, and corrections, n.d. [1951-1959], (Chapters 12-18).

The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959)
Date: 1950s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 186
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959)
Date: 1958-1960; 1976-1979
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 187
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes (1963)
Date: n.d. [early 1960s]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 188
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes (1963)
Date: c.1962-1963
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 189
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes (1963)
Date: c.1960-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 190
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's Games in Street and Playground (1969)
Date: n.d. [late 1960s]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 191
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's Games in Street and Playground (1969)
Date: n.d. [late 1960]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 192
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's Games in Street and Playground (1969)
Date: n.d. [late 1960s]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 193
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's Games in Street and Playground (1969)
Date: 1969
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 194
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Children's Games in Street and Playground (1969)
Date: 1969; 1984
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 195
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Three Centuries of Nursery Rhymes & Poetry for Children (1973)
Date: c.1973-1977
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 196
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Papers relating to the exhibition Three Centuries of Nursey Rhymes and Poetry for Children held at the National Book League, May 1973, presented by Iona and Peter Opie, and to the publication of the exhibition catalogue, including:

The Oxford Book of Children's Verse (1973)
Date: c.1973
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 197
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Typescript with corrections and printer's markings, c.1973.

The Oxford Book of Children's Verse (1973)
Date: c.1972-1975
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 198
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Oxford Book of Children's Verse (1973)
Date: c.1972-1975
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 199
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Classic Fairy Tales (1974)
Date: c.1974-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 200
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Classic Fairy Tales (1974)
Date: c.1974
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 201
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

The Classic Fairy Tales (1974)
Date: c.1947-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 202
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

A Nursery Companion (1980)
Date: c.1979-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 203
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

A Nursery Companion (1980)
Date: n.d. [1980]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 204
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

A Nursery Companion (1980)
Date: c.1978-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 205
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

C.2   Other Opie publications and related material 1936-1999

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 206-214

Proposals and book projects not realised; Record of Manuscripts submitted 1936-1999
Date: 1936-1999
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 206
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content
Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


Articles, lectures and talks
Date: 1951-1957
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 207
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 2 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Articles, lectures and talks
Date: 1963-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 208
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

'The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren' radio programme
Date: 1959-1961
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 209
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Papers relating to series of radio broadcasts 'The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren' (BBC Third Programme, Nov/Dec 1960), including:

'Children's Games 1975' calendar
Date: 1975
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 210
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Wall calendar 'Children's Games 1975' with short introduction by Iona and Peter Opie, photos of children playing, and descriptions of games, 1975. [Calendar only]

Book exhibitions
Date: 1951-1965
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 211
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Papers relating to exhibitions of books from the Opie's collection, and to exhibitions curated by the Opies:

Book reviews and newspaper cuttings
Date: c.1937-1960, 1965
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 212
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume, 1 folder)

Scope and Content

Large scrapbook album, recording the Opies' work chronologically. Includes: press cuttings, book reviews, publicity material, sample dust jackets for their publications, and some letters. The beginning of the album covers Peter Opie's early work (c.1937-1947), while the rest of the volume covers the Opies' subsequent joint work (c.1947-1960). Also includes a folder of loose items, which were inserted in the back of the volume, including further press cuttings, another dust jacket, and prints of various illustrations (probably by Joan Hassall)

Reviews
Date: 1946-1998
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 213
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Reviews and newspaper cuttings relating to books by the Opies, including:

Interviews and biographical pieces
Date: 1954-1993
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 214
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Interviews with, and biographical articles/ 'personality pieces' about, the Opies, including:

Restrictions on Access:

Some material is closed. This is marked as (=Res.).


D   Professional correspondence 1946-1998

Scope and Content

Letters received by the Opies from the general public in reply to their letters to the editor asking for information on nursery rhymes and childlore, and professional correspondence with researchers, academics, authors, booksellers, collectors, cultural and heritage institutions, the media, and other contacts and enquirers. Also includes general correspondence with the Opies’ publisher Clarendon Press, later Oxford University Press (for correspondence relating to specific publications, see C. Publications). The extensive correspondence with Doreen Gullen, the Opies’ long-term research collaborator and friend, covers both professional and private topics.

The Opies’ address books, which link each correspondent to a reference number and often give background details on their correspondents and their activities, can be found in MS. Opie 215.

Arrangement

The original arrangement of the professional correspondence has been kept, notably the separation of the ‘General Correspondence’ into three alphabetical sequences (c.1948 - early/mid 1970s, early 1970s-1981, and 1984-1988), and the selection of correspondence ‘VIPs and of interest’.


Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 215-242


Opie address books; Address lists
Date: c.1946-1998
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 215
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Address books numbered I-V, containing contact details of the Opie's work and personal correspondents, often including information on how they knew each person and notes on material they had sent. Each contact is assigned a reference number, and the volumes include alphabetical indexes at the front. Some items inserted, including letters, notes, postcards and a photograph.

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


Nursery rhymes correspondence
Date: c.1946-1953
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 216
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters received about nursery rhymes, mainly in reply to the Opie's published letters to the editor:

Nursery rhymes and school lore correspondence
Date: c.1946-1956
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 217
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters received about nursery rhymes, singing games and school lore:

Nursery rhymes and school lore correspondence
Date: 1952-1958
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 218
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters received about nursery rhymes, school lore, children's songs and verses, folklore and customs:

General correspondence A-C
Date: c.1948-1975
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 219
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence from teachers, folklorists, researchers, academic, cultural and heritage institutions, media, and other contacts and enquirers:

General correspondence D-H
Date: c.1949-1975
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 220
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence from teachers, folklorists, researchers, academic, cultural and heritage institutions, media, and other contacts and enquirers:

General correspondence I-Q
Date: c.1949-1975
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 221
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence from teachers, folklorists, researchers, academic, cultural and heritage institutions, media, and other contacts and enquirers:

General correspondence R-Z
Date: c.1948-1977
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 222
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence from teachers, folklorists, researchers, academic, cultural and heritage institutions, media, and other contacts and enquirers:

General correspondence A-H
Date: c.1975-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 223
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence from teachers, folklorists, researchers, academic, cultural and heritage institutions, media, and other contacts and enquirers:

General Correspondence I-W
Date: c.1972-1979
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 224
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence from teachers, folklorists, researchers, academic, cultural and heritage institutions, media, and other contacts and enquirers:

General correspondence A-H
Date: c.1984-1988
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 225
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence from teachers, folklorists, researchers, academic, cultural and heritage institutions, media, and other contacts and enquirers:

General correspondence I-Z
Date: c.1984-1988
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 226
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence from teachers, folklorists, researchers, academic, cultural and heritage institutions, media, and other contacts and enquirers:

General correspondence unidentified
Date: 1959-1988, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 227
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence from unidentified contacts and enquirers:

Letters from Doreen Gullen to the Opies
Date: 1948-1959
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 228
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters from Florence Doreen Gullen, a long-time collaborator and friend, to the Opies:

Letters from Doreen Gullen to the Opies
Date: 1960-1972
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 229
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters from Florence Doreen Gullen, a long-time collaborator and friend, to the Opies:

Letters from Doreen Gullen to the Opies
Date: 1973-1990, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 230
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters from Florence Doreen Gullen, a long-time collaborator and friend, to the Opies:

Letters by the Opies to Doreen Gullen
Date: 1948-1973
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 231
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters from the Opies to Florence Doreen Gullen, their long-time collaborator and friend:

Letters by the Opies to Doreen Gullen
Date: 1974-1989, 1950s-1970s, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 232
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters from the Opies to Florence Doreen Gullen, their long-time collaborator and friend:

Correspondence with authors, VIPs and 'of interest' A-K
Date: c.1949-1990
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 233
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence from (children's) authors, illustrators, publishers, VIPs and other correspondents 'of interest':

Correspondence with authors, VIPs and 'of interest' L-Y
Date: c.1947-1987
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 234
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence from (children's) authors, illustrators, publishers, VIPs and other correspondents 'of interest':

Correspondence with The Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press
Date: 1946-1957
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 235
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence of the Opies with The Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press about publishing projects, book production, publicity and sales, royalties, reprints and licences, and administrative, financial and legal matters:

Correspondence with The Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press
Date: 1958-1967
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 236
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence of the Opies with The Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press about publishing projects, book production, publicity and sales, royalties, reprints and licences, and administrative, financial and legal matters:

Correspondence with The Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press
Date: 1968-1974
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 237
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence of the Opies with The Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press about publishing projects, book production, publicity and sales, royalties, reprints and licences, and administrative, financial and legal matters:

Correspondence with Oxford University Press
Date: 1975-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 238
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence of the Opies with Oxford University Press about publishing projects, book production, publicity and sales, royalties, reprints and licences, and administrative, financial and legal matters:

Correspondence with Oxford University Press
Date: 1978-1988
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 239
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence of the Opies with The Clarendon Press (later Oxford University Press) about publishing projects, book production, publicity and sales, royalties, reprints and licences, and administrative, financial and legal matters. Also includes papers relating to a possible transfer of the Opie's collection of children's books to Oxford:

Correspondence with antiquarian booksellers
Date: c.1946-1982
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 240
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence with antiquarian booksellers and related material:

British Association for the Advancement of Science, Section H (Anthropology)
Date: c.1954-1964
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 241
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and other papers relating to Section H (Anthropology) of the British Association for the Advancement of Science:

Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books
Date: c.1954-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 242
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and other papers relating to the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books at Toronto Public Library, and to Friends of the Osborne and Lillian H. Smith Collections:

E   Personal papers 1889-2006

Scope and Content

Personal papers, correspondence, diaries and scrapbooks, memorabilia, writings and other biographical material, mainly relating to Peter Opie. The material was transferred to the Bodleian Library in various tranches in the 1990s when Iona Opie was sorting through her late husband's papers, selecting and annotating material for the Opie Archive. Although the material covers most of Peter Opie's life from his childhood in the 1920s to his death in February 1982, there is strong focus on his young adulthood and on early career from the late 1930s to the 1940s, reflected in particular in his correspondence, scrapbooks and notes, and in the papers relating to his early (autobiographical) publications.

E.1   Personal papers, correspondence and memorabilia 1889-2006

Scope and Content

Peter Opie's personal papers, including correspondence with his parents, with Iona Archibald, later Opie, and with relatives and friends, as well as papers relating to Peter Opie's childhood, education and early career, and personal documents and memorabilia. Also includes some personal papers of Peter Opie's mother Margaret Collett Opie, nee Collett-Mason, and a small number of personal papers of Iona Opie.

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 243-261

Correspondence to Peter Opie from his mother
Date: c.1935-1946
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 243
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards, telegrams and notes from Margaret Collett Opie ('MCO') to her son Peter Opie:

Correspondence to Peter Opie from his mother
Date: 1947-1953; n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 244
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards, telegrams and notes from Margaret Collett Opie ('MCO') to her son Peter Opie:

Correspondence from Peter Opie to his mother
Date: 1928-1971
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 245
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards, telegrams and notes from Peter Opie to his parents, from October 1936 to his mother Margaret Collett Opie ('MCO'):

Correspondence to Peter Opie from relatives
Date: 1930-1964
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 246
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards, telegrams and notes from relatives/family members to Peter Opie:

Folder 1: Opie.

Folder 2: Collett, Mason, Collett-Mason.

Folder 3: William Collett-Mason.

Folder 4: Archibald.

Correspondence from Peter Opie to Iona Archibald, later Opie
Date: 1942-1958, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 247
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards and telegrams from Peter Opie to Iona Archibald, later Opie, many with retrospective notes and comments by Iona Opie:

Restrictions on Access:

Some material is closed. This is marked as (=Res.).


Correspondence to Peter Opie from Iona Archibald, later Opie
Date: 1942-1944
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 248
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards and telegrams from Iona Archibald, later Opie, to Peter Opie, many with retrospective notes and comments by Iona Opie:

Correspondence to Peter Opie from Iona Opie
Date: 1946-1982
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 249
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards and telegrams from Iona Opie to Peter Opie, many with retrospective notes and comments by Iona Opie:

Correspondence to Peter Opie from friends
Date: 1936-1948, 1967 mainly 1938-1948
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 250
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards and telegrams to Peter Opie from friends, including school friends, army friends, girlfriends, arranged by correspondents' names A-Z, some with draft replies by Peter Opie, mainly late 1930s to 1940s:

Correspondence to Peter Opie from friends
Date: 1938-1959
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 251
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards and telegrams from friends to Peter Opie. Also includes some draft letters by Peter Opie:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Correspondence to Peter Opie from friends
Date: 1960-1980, 1988-1991, 2006 mainly 1960-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 252
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters, cards and telegrams from friends to Peter Opie. Also includes some draft letters by Peter Opie, and some personal papers of his friends with comments by Iona Opie:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Miscellaneous correspondence Peter Opie
Date: 1936-1981 mainly 1936-1948
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 253
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence Peter Opie, including:

Peter Opie childhood and education
Date: c.1925-1939
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 254
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Personal papers, notes, correspondence and memorabilia relating to Peter Opie's childhood, schooldays and education, including:

Peter Opie early career
Date: 1937-1948
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 255
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Personal papers, notes, correspondence and memorabilia relating to Peter Opie's early career, including:

Personal, finance and administrative papers
Date: 1937-1982
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 256
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Personal papers of Peter Opie, as well as finance and administrative papers relating to the Opies, including:

Personal memorabilia and photographs
Date: c.1900-1975, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 257
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Includes:

Restrictions on Access:

Some material is closed. This is marked as (=Res.).


Personal memorabilia
Date: c.1889-1958, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 258
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Personal memorabilia found with the Opie papers:

Restrictions on Use:

Some items are fragile. Please handle with special care.



Personal papers and correspondence Margaret Collett Opie
Date: c.1937-1973
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 259
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence to, personal papers of, and notes by, Peter Opie's mother Margaret Collett Opie ('MCO'), nee Collett-Mason:

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


Personal papers and correspondence Iona Opie and Opie children
Date: c.1938-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 260
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Personal papers, correspondence and memorabilia of and by Iona Opie, and the Opies' children James Collett Opie, Robert John Opie and Letitia Margaret Opie, including:

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


Academic hats
Date: 1962
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 261
Language(s) of Material: Latin
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Academic hats (bonnet and mortarboard) worn by Iona and Peter for the University of Oxford honorary M.A. degree ceremony, 18 October 1962. Also includes printed copy of 'Speech delivered by the Public Orator in a Convocation held on 18. October 1962' (in Latin).

E.2   Peter Opie diaries 1933-1959

Scope and Content

Peter Opie's personal diaries (journals) covering the period from 1938 to February 1982. Presumably one diary volume is missing, as there is a gap for the period from March 1972 to February 1974. Also includes some appointment diaries from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 262-269

Personal diaries (journals) Peter Opie
Date: 1938-1939
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 262
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 volumes)

Scope and Content

With some loose notes.

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Personal diaries (journals) Peter Opie
Date: 1941-1943
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 263
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 volumes)

Scope and Content

Two volumes, 3 Jul 1941-25 Jun 1942 and 29 Jun 1942-12 Feb 1943, with some loose notes.

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Personal diaries (journals) Peter Opie
Date: 1943-1945
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 264
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 volumes)

Scope and Content

Two volumes, 12 Feb-21 Oct 1943 and 25 Oct 1943-30 Jun 1945, with some loose notes.

Restrictions on Access:

Closed


Personal diaries (journals) Peter Opie
Date: 1945-1958
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 265
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 volumes)

Scope and Content

Three volumes, 30 Jun 1945-7 Jun 1948, 2 Jun 1948-17 Jan 1958, and Nov 1951+Aug 1953, with some loose notes.

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Personal diaries (journals) Peter Opie
Date: 1958-1965
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 266
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 volumes)

Scope and Content

Three volumes, 31 Jan 1958-26 Aug 1960, 3 Sep 1960-26 Dec 1961, and 28 Dec 1961-Dec 1965, with some loose notes.

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Personal diaries (journals) Peter Opie
Date: 1966-1972
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 267
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 volumes)

Scope and Content

Three volumes, 4 Jan 1966-13 Jul 1968, 28 Jul 1968-11 May 1970, and 11 May 1970-2 Mar 1972, with some loose notes.

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Personal diaries (journals) Peter Opie
Date: 1974-1982
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 268
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 volumes)

Scope and Content

Four volumes, 4 Mar 1974-15 Sep 1976, 22 Sep 1976-25 Nov 1978, 25 Nov 1978-31 Dec 1980, and 1 Jan 1981-4 Feb 1982, with some loose notes.

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Appointment diaries Peter Opie
Date: 1933-1959
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 269
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Pocket and desk diaries, containing appointment notes or short diary entries:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


E.3   Peter Opie scrapbooks and notes 1937-1979, 1992

Scope and Content

Scrapbooks compiled by Peter Opie in the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s, containing mainly press cuttings, but also photographs, printed memorabilia and notes. Two scrapbooks mainly relate to friends, family, autobiography and other personal topics, whilst the others more broadly reflect Peter Opie's interest in contemporary events, politics, society, culture, sports and entertainment. Two 1940s scrapbooks relating specifically to nursery rhymes, and to folklore and traditions, are now part of B. Working Papers as MSS. Opie 161-162. Also includes Peter Opies personal notebooks and loose notes.

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 270-281

Personal scrapbooks Peter Opie
Date: c.1938-1946
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 270
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 volumes)

Scope and Content

Scrapbooks containing press cuttings, photographs, cards and invitations, and other personal memorabilia of Peter Opie, regarding family, friends, travels, and other topics of interest, with some later comments in Iona Opie's hand:

Scrapbook Peter Opie
Date: 1938-1939
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 271
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook with note on flyleaf 'Ideas book. Pictures. Facts. Quotations. References. Cuttings, Sayings & Phrases. New words. Inspiration. An occasional bit of humour to brighten the papers & all worth repeating. Peter Opie May 1938', containing notes and newspaper cuttings reflecting Peter Opie's interest in contemporary events, politics, society, culture, sports and entertainment, c. May 1938-Aug 1939.

Scrapbook Peter Opie
Date: 1941-1942
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 272
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings reflecting Peter Opie's interest in contemporary events, politics, society, culture, sports and entertainment, c. May 1941-May 1942.

Scrapbook Peter Opie
Date: 1942-1943
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 273
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings reflecting Peter Opie's interest in contemporary events, politics, society, culture, sports and entertainment, c. May 1942-Jul 1943, with retrospective comment by Iona Opie on the flyleaf.

Scrapbook Peter Opie
Date: 1943-1945
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 274
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings reflecting Peter Opie's interest in contemporary events, politics, society, culture, sports and entertainment, c. Oct 1943-Feb 1945.

Scrapbook Peter Opie
Date: 1945-1946
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 275
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings reflecting Peter Opie's interest in contemporary events, politics, society, culture, sports and entertainment, c. Mar 1945-Feb 1946.

Scrapbook Peter Opie
Date: c.1946-1949
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 276
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings reflecting Peter Opie's interest in contemporary events, politics, society, culture, sports and entertainment, c. Nov 1946-Dec 1947, with additional newspaper cuttings inserted, up to c.Jan 1949.

Scrapbook Peter Opie [Deanna Durbin]
Date: 1937-1952
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 277
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings about the actress and singer Deanna Durbin, c.1937-1947, with some loose press cuttings, c.1947-1952, and sheet music of Deanna Durbin songs.

Scrapbook Peter Opie [Glamour]
Date: c.1942-1947
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 278
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook titled 'Glamour' containing newspaper cuttings reflecting Peter Opie's interest in culture and entertainment, c.1942-1947.

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Scrapbook Peter Opie [Cartoons]
Date: [early 1940s], 1945-1946
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 279
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings of cartoons, comic strips (including 'Popeye', 'Just Jake', 'Ruggles') and other humorous drawings, and some loose comic strip cuttings, 1945-1946 and n.d. [early 1940s?].

Notes and newspaper cuttings
Date: c.1939-1978, 1992
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 280
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Spiral bound notebooks containing Peter Opies aide memoirs, draft letters, army notes, notes on contemporary events and conversations, quotes, rhymes and songs, fragments of stories and journal entries, lists, and other notes and miscellaneous writings; newspaper cuttings:

Notes
Date: c.1937-1979
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 281
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Notebooks, writing pads and loose pages of Peter Opie's notes, including aide memoirs, draft letters, notes on contemporary events and conversations, quotes, rhymes and songs, fragments of stories and journal entries, lists, and other notes and miscellaneous writings:

E.4   Peter Opie early publications and writings 1936-1948

Scope and Content

Papers, mainly manuscripts, typescripts, drafts and notes, relating to Peter Opie's early autobiographical books, I Want to be a Success (published in 1939), Having Held the Nettle (1945) and The Case of Being a Young Man (1946), to unpublished books, and to short stories, essays and other writings from the late 1930s and from the 1940s.

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 282-292

I Want to be a Success
Date: c.1937-1939
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 282
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

MS. and TS. notes and drafts for Peter' Opie's first autobiographical book I Want to be a Success (published in 1939):

I Want to be a Success
Date: c.1936-1939
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 283
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Material relating to I Want to be a Success:

Short stories and essays [1930s]
Date: c.1936-1940, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 284
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Drafts, manuscript and typescripts of (unpublished) short stories, essays and other short pieces by Peter Opie, found with material for I Want to be a Success:

Monkeys Scratch When They've a Flea
Date: c.1939
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 285
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Typescript of 'Monkeys Scratch When They've a Flea', a follow-on to I Want To be A Success, written in 1939, but not published:

Manufacture of Manliness; Letter to a WAAF; Living Magazine
Date: c.1940-1942
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 286
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Draft, notes, and correspondence relating to publishing projects not realised

The Case of Being a Young Man
Date: c.1942-1944
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 287
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Typescript and manuscript versions of Peter Opie's second autobiographical book The Case of Being a Young Man, written between November 1942 and December 1943. The Book won a Wells Gardner, Darton & Co. 'Chosen Book' award in 1944, and was published in 1946.

The Case of Being a Young Man
Date: c.1942-1944
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 288
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (10 folders)

Scope and Content

Drafts and notes for The Case of Being a Young Man:

Having Held the Nettle
Date: c.1939-1945
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 289
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Drafts, typescript and galley proofs of Peter Opie's collection of short stories on life in the Army and in wartime Britain, Having Held the Nettle, written between 1939 and 1944 and published in 1945:

Drafts, fragments and notes [early 1940s]
Date: c.1939-1944, many n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 290
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Drafts of short stories and essays, miscellaneous writing fragments and notes:

Patterns of a Marriage; The Case of Being Young and Married
Date: c.1943-1948
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 291
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Drafts and notes for autobiographical books on relationships, getting married, marriage and parenthood (not published):

Drafts, fragments and notes [mid-/late-1940s]
Date: c.1943-1948
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 292
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Drafts and notes for autobiographical books on relationships, getting married, marriage and parenthood (not published):

F   Collected material and miscellaneous c.1665-2011

F.1   Book Collecting c.1920s-1991

Scope and Content

Material related to book collecting, including sales and auction catalogues, the Opies' accession diaries, and bibliographical information on children's books.

F.1.1   Sales and auctions catalogues c.1920s-1991

Scope and Content

Sales and auction catalogues of antiquarian booksellers and children’s book publishers, arranged alphabetically by seller’s name, as well as a small number of advertising leaflets. These catalogues were collected by the Opies (c.1950s-1980s), as well as by Roland M.J. Knaster (c.1920s-1940s). The Opies' catalogues often include pencil annotations referring to which sale items they were either interested in or had purchased, as well as cross referencing particular dates in the Opies' accession diaries.

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 293-314

Sales and auctions catalogues [Atkins-Bates]
Date: c.1930s-1970s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 293
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Beauchamp-Butland]
Date: c.1922-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 294
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Blackwell's]
Date: c.1935-1977
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 295
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

B.H. Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, The Children's Bookshop catalogues 1935-1936 and c.1952-1968, and antiquarian catalogues 178, n.d., and A109, 1977

Sales and auctions catalogues [Cape-Crutch]
Date: c.1920s-1970s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 296
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [David-Foyle]
Date: c.1926-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 297
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Deval & Muir]
Date: c.1960s-1970s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 298
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Deval & Muir, Bishop's Stortford, Catalogue nos.1-3, 7-21, 23-50, Special List nos. 2-3 and 7-10, Recent Acquisitions nos. 37-39, and 2 antique book fair stock lists

Sales and auctions catalogues [Gaston-Guntrip]
Date: c.1934-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 299
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Gumuchian]
Date: c.1927-1938
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 300
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Gumuchian & Co, Paris, c.1927-1938. Also includes a postcard to Roland Knaster from Kirkor Gumuchian (1933)

Sales and auctions catalogues [Hammond-Hutchinson]
Date: c.1935-1979
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 301
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Murray Hill]
Date: c.1940s-1975
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 302
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Peter Murray Hill, Chelsea S.W.3, Catalogue Nos. 20, 33, 38-39, 44-49, 51-59, 66, 80, 97, 100, 125 and 129, c.1940s-1975

Sales and auctions catalogues [Janzten-Maggs]
Date: c.1947-1978
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 303
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Lowe Brothers]
Date: n.d. [c.1950s]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 304
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Lowe Bros. Ltd, Birmingham, Nos. 1188-1193, 1195-1199, 1201, 1212; Edward C. Lowe, Nos. 153, 156-162 and extra series No. 115

Sales and auctions catalogues [Mathews-Montmartre]
Date: 1926-1979
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 305
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Morrill-Northern]
Date: c.1959-1975
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 306
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Oxford-Puffin]
Date: c.1932-1991
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 307
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Pickering and Chatto]
Date: 1949-1962
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 308
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Pickering & Chatto Ltd, London W.C.2, Catalogue Nos. 339-362

Sales and auctions catalogues [Reeves-Symmington]
Date: c.1931-1977
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 309
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Sales and auctions catalogues [Justin G. Schiller, Part 1]
Date: c.1968-1975
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 310
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Justin G. Schiller Ltd, Antiquarian Booksellers, New York, Catalogue Nos. 21-22 and 24-33, c.1968-1975, and Chapbook Miscellany, Vol.1, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter 1970

Sales and auctions catalogues [Justin G. Schiller, Part 2]
Date: c.1972-1986
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 311
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Justin G. Schiller Ltd, Antiquarian Booksellers, New York, Catalogue Nos. 34-39 and 42-44, c.1976-1985. Also includes additional leaflets, book lists and letters from Justin G. Schiller to the Opies, c.1972-1986.

Separated Material

A copy of 'Realms of Childhood specially for the Opies', Catalogue No. 41, 1983, was removed and catalogued with Opie Collection Books, Section Z: Bibliographies and Reference Books, on 29 Feb 1996.


Sales and auctions catalogues [Sotheby's 1945-1972]
Date: c.1945-1972
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 312
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Sotheby's & Co., London W.1, c.1948-1972.

Separated Material

The 1945 catalogue of the Brussels Collection was removed and catalogued with the Opie Collection Books, Section Z: Bibliographies and Reference Books, on 29 Feb 1996.


Sales and auctions catalogues [Sotheby's 1973-1981]
Date: c.1973-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 313
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Sotheby's & Co., London W.1, c.1973-1981.

Separated Material

Six 'Highly Important' collections of children's books catalogues 1974-1977, and a final concluding volume, were removed and catalogued with Opie Collection Books, Section Z: Bibliographies and Reference Books, on 29 Feb 1996.


Sales and auctions catalogues [Thorp-Yeoman]
Date: c.1925-1971
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 314
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 file)

Scope and Content

F.1.2   Accession diaries and other papers relating to book collecting c.1845, c.1940s-1980s, and n.d.

Scope and Content

A series of six diary notebooks, recording book accessions, including titles, authors and publishing dates, as well as the date of purchase, the source of acquisition, such as the name of bookseller, auction, or person who gifted the item, and price paid. The diaries also include Peter Opie's notes about his various purchases, as well as his reflections on the subject of book collecting. The second to fifth volumes include booksellers' contact details at the back. Various papers are inserted, including extracts from sales catalogues, receipts and letters from booksellers.

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 315-319

Accession Diary 1955-1962; Accession Diary 1962-1967
Date: c.1941-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 315
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 volumes)

Scope and Content

Two notebooks covering book accessions from 8 Mar 1955 to 24 Aug 1962 and from 25 Aug 1962 to 10 Oct 1967. The first volume also contains Peter Opie's personal thoughts and observations, draft poems and letters, and notes on language, and has various newspaper cuttings, letters and other papers inserted, c.1941-1981.

Accession Diaries
Date: 14 Oct 1967-13 Dec 1969, 16 Dec 1969-18 Nov 1973
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 316
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 volumes)

Accession Diaries
Date: 22 Nov 1973-2 Dec 1978, 30 Nov 1978-22 Feb 1988
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 317
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 volumes)

Scope and Content

Peter Opie's last entry in the second volume is on 30 Jan 1982, then the entries continue in Iona Opie's hand from 3 Jul 1982 to 18 Oct 1987. The last two entries in Feb 1988 are in another person's hand.

Miscellaneous papers and correspondence
Date: c.1845, c.1940s-1980s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 318
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Leaflets for book fairs, sales and exhibitions; booksellers' and publishers' advertising materials; booksellers' material, including sales lists, leaflets, notes and newspaper cuttings; miscellaneous papers and correspondence related to book collecting and to the antiquarian book trade.

'Contributions to a Bibliography of Children's Books'
Date: n.d. [c.1920s-1930s]
Shelfmark: Ms. Opie 319
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 volume)

Scope and Content

'Contributions to a Bibliography of Children's Books, with coloured plates, published in England before 1830' compiled by C.T. Owen [carbon copy].

F.2   Historic childhood and children's book ephemera c.1665-1995

Scope and Content

Childhood and children’s book ephemera, c.1665-1970s, collected by the Opies, including manuscript books by and for children, notebooks and diaries by children or with references to childhood, nursery rhymes and related subjects, drawings and (children’s books) illustrations, a collection of copy books, exercise books and school ephemera, and (merchandise) objects and printed ephemera relating to children’s books. The bulk of the material originally came to the Bodleian Library in 1988 with the Opie’s collection of children’s books as 'Section X: Mss and Original Art Work'. Relevant material from the Opie archive was added in 2017.

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 320-337

Manuscript material
Date: c.1665-1899
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 320
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (50 folders)

Scope and Content

Manuscript material
Date: c.1803-1969
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 321
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (6 folders)

Scope and Content

Copy books, 18th and early 19th century writing
Date: c.1770-1869 and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 322
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Copy books, late-19th and 20th century writing
Date: c.1878-1957 and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 323
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Copy books, 19th century drawing
Date: c.1804-1889 and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 324
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Copy books, late-19th and 20th century drawing
Date: c.1878-1971 and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 325
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Copy books and exercise books, mid-19th century arithmetic
Date: c.1844-1846, c.1850s
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 326
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Three arithmetic exercise book, c.1844-46 and n.d. [c.1850s]

Copy books and exercise books, 19th and 20th century arithmetic and geometric
Date: c.1814-1917 and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 327
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Copy books and exercise books, 19th century various subjects
Date: c.1860-1883 and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 328
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Exercise books and stationary, blank
Date: c.1910-1981 and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 329
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

School ephemera
Date: c.1780-1940 and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 330
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Original drawings and illustrations
Date: c.1802-1995
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 331
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (15 folders)

Scope and Content

Original drawings and illustrations
Date: n.d. [c.1825-1942]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 332
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (9 folders)

Scope and Content

Original drawings and illustrations
Date: n.d. [c. mid 20th Century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 333
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (7 folders)

Scope and Content

Original drawings and illustrations
Date: 1863; 1940s-1960s and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 334
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (7 folders)

Scope and Content

Ephemera (objects) relating to children's books
Date: [early-20th century], 1992, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 335
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Ephemera (objects) relating to Puffin Books/ Puffin Club
Date: 1976, [1990]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 336
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Ephemera (objects) relating to Beatrix Potter books
Date: c.1952-1977
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 337
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

F.3   A-Z Subject files n.d. [c. early-19th to late-20th century]

Scope and Content

Files on aspects of children's literature, children's culture, publishing, the (antiquarian) book trade, and related subjects relevant to the Opies' work, arranged alphabetically by subject. The files were compiled, mainly from the newspaper cuttings, (printed) ephemera and occasional correspondence and manuscript materials which were transferred to the Bodleian Library with the Opie Collection of Children's Literature in 1988, by library volunteer David Hounslow. Working on these subject files from the 1980s to the early 2000s, Hounslow also added material from other sources, as well as his own articles, bibliographical notes, and lists relating to the history of children's books.

Arrangement

The original alphabetical sequence of the files and the subject titles has been retained. Material relating to individual children's books' titles are filed under the author's name, with the book title noted in brackets, e.g. A.A. Milne ('Winnie-the-Pooh'). Correspondence and other manuscript material found in the files was left in place. Some stray items from the Opie Archive, mainly newspaper cuttings and printed ephemera, were added to the files, where the appropriate place, in 2017.


Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 338-349

Subject files A-B
Date: n.d. [c. late-19th to early-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 338
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files CA-CE
Date: n.d. [c. late-19th to early-21st century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 339
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files CH-CR
Date: n.d. [c. early-19th to mid-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 340
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files D-F
Date: n.d. [c. mid-19th to late-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 341
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files G-H
Date: n.d. [c. late-19th to late-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 342
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files Hounslow-J
Date: n.d. [c. mid-/late-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 343
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files K-M
Date: n.d. [c. early-/mid-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 344
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files N-O
Date: n.d. [c. early-/mid-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 345
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files P including Prodigies
Date: n.d. [c. mid-/late-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 346
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files Beatrix Potter
Date: n.d. [c. mid-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 347
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files R-SE
Date: n.d. [c. mid-/late-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 348
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Subject files SH-Z
Date: n.d. [c. early-19th to mid-20th century]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 349
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

F.4   A-Z Newspaper cuttings c.1987-2011

Scope and Content

Newspaper cuttings and article on aspects of children's literature, children's culture, publishing, the (antiquarian) book trade, and related subjects relevant to the Opies' work, arranged alphabetically by subject. The material covers the period from c.1987/1988 to 2011, and was collected by library volunteers working on the Opie Collection of Children’s Literature at the Bodleian's Rare Books department.

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 350-351

Newspaper Cuttings A-L
Date: c.1989-2010
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 350
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Newspaper Cuttings M-Y
Date: c.1987-2011
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 351
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

F.5   Papers of other children's book and ephemera collectors c.1893-1970s

Scope and Content

Papers taken over by the Opies from other collectors and researchers they were friends with.

Roland Knaster (?1892-1979) was a book and ephemera collector. Peter Opie first met him in the mid-1940s. After his death the Opies acquired a number of children's books and ephemera from Knaster's collection, and also took over some of his working papers, such as collection lists, bibliographical references, correspondence and articles, as well as auction catalogues (now with MSS. Opie 293-314) and memorabilia.

Charles Morris was the Oxford University Press representative in Glasgow, who had an interest in children's book illustrations, and also collected children's books. After Morris died in c.1973, Peter Opie helped his widow with selling the book collection, and the Opies also acquired some of the books, notably 20th century material, for their own collection.

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 352-359

Roland Knaster: Book collection catalogues, lists and bibliographical references
Date: n.d. [c.1930s-1970s]
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 352
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Twenty Notebooks:

Roland Knaster: Book collection catalogues, lists and bibliographical references
Date: c.1935-1972
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 353
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (14 volumes)

Scope and Content

‘Of Books, Juvenilia’. Fourteen notebooks (a) - (n) containing clippings and extracts from booksellers’ and auctions catalogues, c.1935-1972.

Roland Knaster: Correspondence
Date: c.1917-1969
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 354
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Letters and postcards to Roland Knaster from booksellers, collectors, publishers, authors and other bibliophiles, many with biographical notes and comments by Roland Knaster on the senders, and related press cuttings, photographs and memorabilia:

Roland Knaster: Articles and notes
Date: 1938-1951 and n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 355
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Roland Knaster: Loose-leaf files
Date: c.1930s-1960s, with some earlier material
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 356
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Newspaper cuttings and (printed) ephemera arranged by topic, some with notes and comments by Roland Knaster:

Roland Knaster: Collected material
Date: c.1949-1977
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 357
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Roland Knaster: Miscellaneous
Date: 1893-1955 and many n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 358
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Charles Morris
Date: c.1947-1961
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 359
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

F.6   Miscellaneous c.1904-1935

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 360-362

Gramophone records: popular songs and dance music
Date: c.1904 and c.1921-1932
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 360
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 20 items

Scope and Content

20 gramophone record discs of popular songs and dance music, probably from the collection of Roland Knaster.

Gramophone records: popular songs and dance music
Date: c.1927-1935
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 361
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 12 items

Scope and Content

12 gramophone record discs of popular songs and dance music, probably from the collection of Roland Knaster.

Miscellaneous notes, papers and collected material
Date: c. mid-19th century - 1992
Shelfmark: MS. Opie 362
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Transformation from XML (EAD 2.0) to HTML
09 July 2018