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Brittain, Vera, 1893-1970

Vera Brittain fonds. -- 1836-1970; predominant 1900-1970. -- 36.5 m of textual records, graphic material, and realia. -- 1 audio cassette.

Vera Brittain, writer, lecturer, pacifist, and feminist, was born on 29 December 1893 at Newcastle-under-Lyme. She went up to Somerville College, Oxford in 1914 but left to serve as a VAD in World War I. She returned to Oxford after the war where she became friends with Winifred Holtby, a budding novelist. She married George Catlin in 1925 and became the mother of two children. Her most well-known book is Testament of Youth (1933) about her experiences in World War I. During World War II she was a leading member of the Peace Pledge Union. She died in London on 29 March 1970.

There have been six accruals: one main accrual, the first, and five smaller accruals.

The first accrual has been arranged in the following series:
A: Major Published and Unpublished Manuscripts
B: Contributions to Books
C: Juvenilia
D: Journals and Diaries
E: Scrapbooks and Albums
F: Lectures
G: Published Articles, Pamphlets, Book Reviews, and Letters to the Editor
H: Published and Unpublished Articles, Book Reviews and Letters to the Editor
I: Unpublished Articles, Book Reviews, and Letters to the Editor
Note to Researchers: Series G, H, I, contain similar materials. If you cannot locate a file or if a file is empty please search the other two series.
J: Incoming Correspondence, 1916-1965, arranged alphabetically. Note: The archivist has written the outgoing reply date on each letter.
K: Outgoing Correspondence, arranged chronologically, 1929-1970 up to Box 16. Boxes 17-39 are arranged alphabetically first, and then chronologically, and consist of letters to family members and close friends.
L: Photographs
M: Memorabilia
N: Travel
O: Research, Works by Others, Financial
P: News clippings and printed materials
Q: Social
R: John and Shirley Brittain-Catlin (VB's children)
S: Edward Brittain (VB's brother)
T: Edith and T.A. Brittain (VB's parents)
U: Bervon family (VB's relatives)

Other accruals consist of:
Second accrual: Television scripts for Testament of Youth.
Third accrual: Correspondence to the Society of Authors.
Fourth accrual: Photographs of the Brittain and Catlin families.
Fifth accrual: Letter from Vera Brittain to George [Catlin], 8 March 1957.
Sixth accrual: (16-1996) Memoir of Vera Brittain by her former daughter-in-law, Jennifer, Lady Balfour of Burleigh. Ts., 5 p.

Researchers may also wish to consult the First World War Poetry Digitial Archive.

Title based on content of fonds.

First accrual was purchased on 8 November 1971 from Brittain's estate through Bertram Rota. Second accrual was purchased in August 1979 from Bertram Rota. Third accrual was purchased from a Sotheby's auction, 29,30 June, lots 346-7, through Bertram Rota. Fourth accrual was purchased in April 1986 from a Christie's auction through Bertram Rota. Fifth accrual was purchased in March 1989 from Sotheran's. Sixth accrual was acquired from John Spencer.
Finding aid available electronically for Series A-U (except P). Finding Aid available for the third and fourth accruals electronically. See also Library Research News 4, no. 3 (Nov. 1977) for Series A-F; Library Research News 4, no. 4 (Dec. 1978) for Series G; and Library Research News 4, no. 5 (July 1979) for Series H and I and addenda.
There are no access restrictions.
Further accruals are not expected.


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Last Reviewed: October 5, 2006