Catalogue of the archive of Margaret Reardon

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Emily Chen
2016



Department of Special Collections
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Table of Contents

Introduction
A   Correspondence and personal papers 1940-2010
B   Literary papers 1945-1981
C   Photographs, slides and digital images 1945-2015
D   Miscellaneous items 1959-2015


Archive of Margaret Reardon

1940-2015

Abstract:
Papers, 1940-2015, of Margaret Reardon (b. 1920), relating to life as a colonial wife in Eritrea, Tanganyika, Bechuanaland, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Extent: 0.6 Linear metres, 6 physical shelfmarks; 5 digital shelfmarks
Language(s) of Material: English

Biographical/Historical

Biographical/Historical note written with reference to An Unexpected Journey.

Margaret Reardon neé Chapman was born on 16th February 1920 in Mayfair, London. She was educated at St Augustine's Primary School and the Central School in Cambridge from 1925 to 1937.

During World War II she joined the Civil Defence organisation in Cambridge. In 1942 she enlisted in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service and was attached to the Royal Signals Corp 'Y' Branch until 1945.

On 27 October 1945 she married Captain Patrick William Reardon of the Essex Regiment. He was shortly posted overseas as a Civil Affairs Officer in Eritrea and she joined him there in 1946 where they stayed until 1952. Their son Timothy was born in Asmara in May 1950.

After Eritrea Patrick joined the Colonial Service and was appointed to the District Administration in Tanganyika. Their daughter Catherine was born in Dar-Es-Salaam in November 1957.

In 1961 they were posted to the Bechaunaland Protectorate. After independence Patrick Reardon was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry (Mines) and Water Affairs. In 1968 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his service.

In 1973 Patrick Reardon was appointed Deputy Financial Secretary of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands and was later promoted to Financial Secretary and Acting Governor. From 1979 he was Chief Secretary of the Turks and Caicos Islands and was Acting Governor in 1981 before being appointed Governor of the British Virgin Islands. He died suddenly of a heart attack in September 1981 before taking up the appointment.

Margaret returned to England and came to live in Cambridgeshire. She wrote a book about her life in the Colonies entitled An Unexpected Journey: Life in the Colonies at Empire's End: A Woman's Role.

Scope and Content

The papers comprise A. Correspondence, personal papers and ephemera, B. Literary papers, C. Photographs, slides and digital images, and D. Miscellaneous items. Most of the papers were used in Margaret Reardon's autobiography.

Arrangement

The arrangement generally reflects the original order of the collection, with some papers moved out of strict chronological grouping to reflect a more topical arrangement of the four series. These are grouped into correspondence, personal papers and ephemera; literary papers; photographs, slides and digital images; and miscellaneous items.

Acquisition

Donated by Margaret Reardon on 10th February 2016.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 602

Bibliographical References

Margaret Reardon, A Unexpected Journey: Life in the Colonies at Empire's End: A Woman's Role, (Catherine Armstrong: 2015)

Personal name(s) (NCA Rules)

Reardon | Margaret | b. 1920 | colonial wife
Reardon | Patrick William | 1924-1981 | colonial administrator

Subject(s)

Africa | History | 20th century
Colonial administrators
Great Britain | Colonies | Africa
Great Britain | Colonies | West Indies
Great Britain. Colonial Office
West Indies | History | 20th century
Women travelers

A   Correspondence and personal papers 1940-2010

Correspondence and personal papers
Date: 1940-2010
Shelfmark: MSS. Brit .Emp s. 602/1
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (7 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6

Folder 7

B   Literary papers 1945-1981

Memoirs and diary
Date: 1945-1981
Shelfmark: MSS. Brit .Emp s. 602/2
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Comprises:

C   Photographs, slides and digital images 1945-2015

Photographs and slides
Date: 1945-1980
Shelfmark: MSS. Brit .Emp s. 602/3
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (6 folders)

Scope and Content

Comprises:

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6

Born-digital images and scans of photographs
Date: 1945-1980
Shelfmark: MSS. Digital 67-71
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 5 shelfmarks

D   Miscellaneous items 1959-2015

An Unexpected Journey: Life in the Colonies at Empire's End: A Woman's Role
Date: 2015
Shelfmark: MSS. Brit .Emp s. 602/4
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 item

Bagomoyo 1959: Ceremonial trowel for School Foundation Stone Ceremony
Date: 1959
Shelfmark: MSS. Brit .Emp s. 602/5
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 item

Bagamoyo 1959: Ceremonial scroll holder and letter for School Foundation Stone Ceremony
Date: 1959
Shelfmark: MSS. Brit .Emp s. 602/6
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 item


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07 October 2016