Catalogue of the Oxfam Archive: Donated collections

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Antonia White, based on an earlier finding aid by Rosie Dodd and Chrissie Webb
2018

MS. Oxfam DON/1-3
Catalogued with the generous support of the Wellcome Trust

This is the first edition of this catalogue. Further material may be added in subsequent editions as a result of ongoing cataloguing work.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
A   Personal papers of staff and trustees 1942-2010 and n.d. [early twentieth century-c.2010]
B   External productions relating to Oxfam, its staff and partners 1965-2010 and n.d. [c.1967-early 2000s]
C   Supporters' papers 1955-2000 and n.d. [1980s-early 1990s]


Catalogue of Oxfam donated collections

c.1904-2010

Abstract:
Oxfam donated collections

Extent: 2.3 Linear metres, 15 physical shelfmarks
Language(s) of Material: English

Full Range of Shelfmarks:

MSS. Oxfam DON/1-3

Organizational history

The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief was formed on 5 October 1942 at a meeting in the Old Library of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. It was one of several similar groups set up around the U.K. during the Second World War, in support of the National Famine Relief Committee, to lobby for the relief of suffering behind the Allied blockade in Greece and other countries under German occupation. The Oxford Committee initially raised funds to be channelled through the Greek Red Cross. Throughout the remainder of the war it also campaigned, unsuccessfully, for the lifting of the blockade to allow relief supplies through to starving populations. In March 1943 it was registered as a charity under the War Charities Act.

In the post-war years, the Oxford Committee remained in existence to raise funds and dispatch supplies of food and clothing to refugees and others in Europe through agencies such as the Salvation Army and the Save the Children Fund. In 1948 it broadened its aims to include 'the relief of suffering as a result of wars or of other causes in any part of the world' and turned its attention also to aid for refugees in the Middle East and people affected by conflict in Korea in the early 1950s. In the 1960s, it gained national recognition through its humanitarian response to war and famine in the Congo and Biafra. In 1965, the shortened telegraphic address, 'Oxfam', which had been used informally since the 1940s, was adopted as the charity's registered name.

During the 1960s Oxfam began to highlight the need in many countries for long-term development work to address the causes of poverty. It played a leading role in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation's 'Freedom from Hunger' campaign, launched in the U.K. in 1962, which aimed to combat food shortages, not by giving food aid but by enabling people to grow enough to feed themselves. Oxfam's grants to local agencies for work in areas such as agriculture and public health increased throughout the decade. By the early 1970s, it was supporting 800 projects involving local communities, overseen by eleven Field Directors based in the countries concerned. Public education, campaigning and advocacy on issues affecting poor people also became a major focus for the organization at this time.

Today, advocacy and campaigning, development work to help poor people work their own way out of poverty, and humanitarian work in emergencies, assisting those immediately affected by conflict and natural disasters, remain the basis of Oxfam's programme. As a major, international non-governmental organization, Oxfam is a world leading expert in public health in emergencies. In 1962, Oxfam was launched in Canada. Other Oxfams followed, in America, Belgium and elsewhere. Oxfam International, a confederation of non-governmental organizations, was formed in 1995. Oxfam GB, the organization founded in Oxford in 1942, and other national Oxfams are members of Oxfam International.

For further information please see M. Black, A Cause for our Times: Oxfam - the first 50 years (Oxfam and Oxford University Press, 1992).

Scope and Content

This record group contains records donated to Oxfam GB (formerly Oxfam and Oxfam UK/I).

The catalogue describes the personal papers of staff members and trustees, and the papers of supporters, such as volunteers and local Oxfam groups. It also describes records relating to Oxfam, its staff and partners, that were produced outside of the organisation, such as reports, papers, studies, personal memoirs, articles and publications. This includes records created by Oxfam staff members after they had left the organisation.

Restrictions on Access

Material of a sensitive personal or corporate nature is closed. Restricted material is indicated in the catalogue.

Acquisition

Oxfam donated its archive to the Bodleian Library in 2012.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, where available, e.g. MS. Oxfam DON/1/1, fol. 1].

Related Material

Bodleian Library catalogues of materials relating to other Oxfam functions are available. These are Appeals, (Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam APL), Communications (Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam COM), Campaigns (Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam CPN), Programme Policy, Management and Administration (Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam PRG), Project Files (Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam PRF) and Publishing (Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam PUB).

Further papers of Cecil Jackson-Cole are held at West Sussex Record Office.

Personal name(s) (NCA Rules)

Barber | Christopher Bayldon | 1921-2012 | Oxfam Chair of Trustees 1983-1989
Castle | Robert A. | 1902-1968 | Organiser, Oxford Committee for Famine Relief 1946-1948
Cole | Cecil Jackson- | 1901-1979 | Oxfam Honorary Secretary 1942-1966
Davies | Robin Langdon-| 1921-2005 | Oxfam Honorary Treasurer 1960-1973
Harris | Michael | 1920-2009 | Oxfam Overseas Director 1972-1984
Llewellyn | Bernard | 1920-2008 | Oxfam Overseas Aid Appraiser
Milford | Theodore Richard | 1895-1987 | Clergyman, Oxfam Chair of Trustees 1942-1947 and 1960-1965, and founder member
Mitty | Joseph Sidney | 1919-2007 | Oxfam Gift Shops Manager
Stack | Tigger | 1921-2016 | née Margaret June Waight, later Tigger Ramsay-Brown | Oxfam Public Relations Officer 1969-?1974, Manager of Oxfam Kampuchea Information Office 1979-1981, Oxfam consultant 1983
Stamp | Hon | Nancy Elizabeth | 1931-2017 | Oxfam Information Department manager 1963-1990
Stringer | Anthony Guy | 1920-2009 | Oxfam Commercial Director 1969-?1972, Deputy Director 1972-?1983, Director 1983-1985

Corporate name(s) (NCA Rules)

Oxfam GB.

Subject(s)

20th century
21st century
Charities -- Great Britain
Non-governmental organizations

A   Personal papers of staff and trustees 1942-2010 and n.d. [early twentieth century-c.2010]

Full range of shelfmarks:

MS. Oxfam DON/1/1-6


Personal papers of Cecil Jackson-Cole, Honorary Secretary, and Elizabeth Stamp, Information Department Manager
Date: 1942-2009 and n.d. (c.1904-2010)
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/1/1
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Restrictions on Access:

One item is closed. This is marked as (=Res.)


Personal papers of, and relating to, Robert Castle, Organiser, Oxford Committee for Famine Relief
Date: 1945-2010
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/1/2
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Organizational history

Robert Castle was the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief's first paid employee, leaving employment at Rowntree's to work as a part-time Organiser for the Committee between 1946 and 1948. Among other achievements, he was responsible for opening the Committee's first Gift Shop on Broad Street, Oxford, in February 1948, and coined the shortened form of the organization's name, 'Oxfam'.


Scope and Content

Comprises:

Personal papers of Michael Harris, Overseas Division Director, and Joe Mitty, Gift Shops Manager
Date: 1948-2007 and n.d. [late 1940s-c.1992]
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/1/3
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Organizational history

Joe Mitty was asked by Oxfam's archivist about the origins of the 'Oxford Famine Relief Shop' poem postcard: "Yes! I remember very well - it was in the mid 1950s. The poem was written by 'Culex', a pseudonym of a poet who wrote every Friday for the Oxford Times. I found out (from Michael Rowntree, the owner of the Oxford Times and the then Oxfam Chair of Trustees), that 'Culex' was a Mrs Stanier. Mrs Stanier happened to be the wife of the headmaster of my son's school. One day Mrs Stanier happened come into the Broad Street shop - so I asked her to write a poem for us. I then asked Michael Rowntree if he wouldn't mind printing some copies of the poem on postcards (for free - I never used to pay for anything that I could manage to get for free), which we then sold in the shop for 3d. We sold lots and even had to get more printed."


Scope and Content

Comprises:

Personal papers of Geoffrey Petts, Regional Organiser, later Area Director, and Bernard Llewellyn, Overseas Aid Appraiser, later Asia Field Director
Date: 1955-1994 and n.d. [1960s]
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/1/4
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Personal papers of Robin Langdon-Davies, Honorary Treasurer, Guy Stringer, Commercial Director, later Deputy Director and Director, and Julian Francis, Bangladesh Refugee Programme Special Representative, later Field Director for Northern India and Nepal
Date: 1960-1991
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/1/5
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Personal papers of Tigger Stack, Manager of Oxfam Kampuchea Information Office, later Oxfam Consultant, Derek Warren, Press Officer and Peter Burns [job title unknown]
Date: 1974-2007
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/1/6
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Restrictions on Access:

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


B   External productions relating to Oxfam, its staff and partners 1965-2010 and n.d. [c.1967-early 2000s]

Related Material

The Bodleian Library holds copies of Democratizing Development: The Role of Voluntary Organizations by John Clark (Earthscan Publications, 1991) and More People, More Trees: Environmental Recovery in Africa by William Critchley (Practical Action Publishing, 2010)


Full range of shelfmarks:

MS. Oxfam DON/2/1-5


Reports, papers and studies
Date: 1969-1985
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/2/1
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Including reports and studies by former members of Oxfam staff, and on Oxfam and its work by external researchers. Comprises:

Reports, papers and studies
Date: 1986-2002
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/2/2
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Including reports and studies by former members of Oxfam staff, and on Oxfam and its work by external researchers. Comprises:

Memoirs
Date: 1983-2010 and n.d. [1980s-early 2000s]
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/2/3
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (7 files)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Restrictions on Access:

One item is closed. This is marked (=Res.)


Publications about Oxfam partners and associates
Date: 1968-2008 and n.d. [c.1973, 1989]
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/2/4
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (10 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Articles and publications about Oxfam and its staff
Date: 1965-2006 and n.d. [c.1967-1970s]
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/2/5
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (8 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

C   Supporters' papers 1955-2000 and n.d. [1980s-early 1990s]

Full range of shelfmarks:

MS. Oxfam DON/3/1-4


Papers of Nora Reason, Pledged Gift collector 1960-1992, and Epping Oxfam Group
Date: 1955-1993
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/3/1
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Minutes and papers of Oxfam groups: Winchester, Barnet and Potters Bar, Alton
Date: 1965-1996
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/3/2
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Papers of the Malvern Oxfam Group and Vera Jefferson, Area Organiser for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
Date: 1980-2010 and n.d. [1980s-early 1990s]
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/3/3
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Materials relating to Oxfam groups and volunteers
Date: 1986-2000
Shelfmark: MS. Oxfam DON/3/4
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:


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02 February 2018