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 second edition of the catalogue. Further material will be added in subsequent editions as the result of ongoing cataloguing work.

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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


Archive of Iona and Peter Opie

c.1930-1999, with earlier collected material

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: 32 Linear metres, 214 physical shelfmarks
Language(s) of Material: English

Full range of shelfmarks

MSS. Opie 1-214

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 counting out rhymes, local superstitions, cheers, slang and abbreviations, and return these ‘suggestionaires’, as the Opies called their survey sheets, via their teachers. Over the years the method evolved into asking open questions, or encouraging the children to freely describe their games and playground activities, hobbies and preferences. The teachers were instructed not to direct or aid the children when writing these papers, and even to leave the spelling unchecked. 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 and analyse 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

The Opie Archive is currently being catalogued, with work scheduled to finish in June 2018.

Please note that whilst we are trying to accommodate urgent researchers’ requests for access wherever possible, sequences of the Opie Archive will become temporarily unavailable whilst preservation and cataloguing work is being carried out. If you need to consult material from the Opie Archive before June 2018, please contact us with generous advance notice so we can advise on the availability of the material in question and make the necessary arrangements.

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 notebooks which contain the correspondents contact details and information on their activity, when last contacted, which material received etc. 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 will be added to the archive as B. Working papers as part of ongoing cataloguing work.


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: Bulk, 1951-1953 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: Bulk, 1952-1954 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: Bulk, 1952-1953 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: Bulk, 1952-1953 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: Bulk, 1954-1955 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: Bulk, 1954-1957 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: Bulk, 1960-1969 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: Bulk, 1960-1962 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: Bulk, 1960-1973 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: Bulk, 1960-1963 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: Bulk, 1960-1962 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.1955-56
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.).



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06 April 2018