The Richard Goulden Collection

Scope and Content

A collection of documents relating to several organisations involved in social and education work for the deaf. The documents date from the 1960s to the mid-1980s, and were accumulated by Richard Goulden as a result of his membership and association with these groups.

The Goulden Collection is an important collection for the history of Deaf activism, education of the deaf and Deaf community groups from the 1960s to the 1980s. It provides valuable insights into the changing nature of the UK Deaf community and its supporters and their social, educational and political activities in this period. Groups and organisations which feature prominently in the archive include the Breakthrough Trust (now known as deafPlus), the British Deaf Association, the National Union of the Deaf, the Hamilton Lodge School, Brighton and its alumni group, the Old Hamiltonians Association, the Sixty Six Club for Young Deaf Adults, and regional groups such as the Midland Deaf Club and the Spurs Club (London).

The nature of the material is varied paperwork including copies of organizational minutes and accounts, reports, newsletters and magazines, promotional literature, notices of social events and meetings, and correspondence (mostly in the form of circular letters). The collection has a regional bias towards London and the south-east of England (where Goulden was lived and worked).

The significance of the Goulden Collection is that it relates to an important period in Deaf activism. Mr Goulden's involvement with a wide range of different groups, both traditional and innovative, means that the documents he accumulated provide an invaluable snapshot of views and activities during this period. It includes material on some key issues such as the debates over 'oralism' and sign language, new assistance technologies for the Deaf, the role of Deaf schools, and the involvement of the Deaf in issues which directly related to their everyday lives.

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard Goulden was born in Kent in 1945. After spending time in Singapore, he attended Eastbourne College, followed by Sussex University and University College, London. He worked as an archivist at the Public Record Office and a librarian at the British Library. When Goulden retired in 2005 he was head of the British Library’s Nineteenth Century British Books department.

He has written a number of books relating to the book trade, the history of Kent and Sussex and military history.

Throughout his adult life Goulden has been active in Deaf organizations, including the Sixty-Six Club, the Spurs Club (of which he was secretary) and the British Deaf History Society, of which he is a trustee. Mr Goulden has been active in preserving and cataloguing the archives of a number of Deaf societies, including the Sixty-Six Club, the Spurs Club and the British Deaf Association.


The arrangement of the material follows that devised by Mr Goulden. Newsletters and general documents form subseries for individual organisations. Documents are arranged chronologically. 

  • GDC/1 Breakthrough Trust
  • GDC/2 British Deaf Association
  • GDC/3 Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges
  • GDC/4 National Union of the Deaf
  • GDC/5 Old Hamiltonians' Association
  • GDC/6 Sixty Six Club for Young Deaf Adults
  • GDC/7 Miscellaneous Publications
  • GDC/8 Miscellaneous Organizations

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 2018. Under the Act 2018 (DPA), The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for archiving and research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 2018, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Open parts of this collection, and the catalogue descriptions, may contain personal data about living individuals. Some items in this collection may be closed to public inspection in line with the requirements of the DPA. Restrictions/closures of specific items will be indicated in the catalogue.

Acquisition Information

The collection is believed to have been transferred to the Library in the late 1980s or early 1990s by Mr Goulden.

Alternative Form Available

It is possible that copies of documents and publications in this collection exist in other locations.

Archivist's Note

The original catalogue was compiled by Mr Goulden in manuscript form. It was then transcribed into a Word document, which was subsequently converted into an EAD-XML file in line with the Library's cataloguing guidelines. Additional information about the collection and subject area was compiled by James Peters.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Appraisal Information

The Goulden collection has not been appraised by the Library.

Custodial History

The collection was accumulated by Richard Goulden through his involvement in several organizations represented in the archive and through his general interest in documenting Deaf groups and activities in this period. .


None expected.

Related Material

Archives of the British Deaf Association are held by the Society and by London Metropolitan Archives (LMA/4468). Records of the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges are public records and are held at the National Archives, Kew (FB/1-2).