Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith Papers

Scope and Content

Archive and some books of Timothy Dudley-Smith comprising: 

  • Master copies of all his hymn texts (c.450) with details of where published etc, photocopied in 2 lever arch files (originals retained as they are still being addedto)
  • Hymn texts, individual files of mss, correspondence etc, in alphabetical order of the first line, 12 transfer cases
  • A.5 Contributors' copies, cassettes (4) and LPs (1) of audio recordings, 5 cases
  • CDs of performances, 4 boxes
  • MS music for hymns from composers, alphabetically by hymn text, 2 boxes
  • Sheet music, 1978-2018, 1 box
  • G.1 Editorial permissions, chronological, 1971-2000, 7 transfer cases
  • G.2 Casual permissions, chronological, 1969-2006, 5 transfer cases
  • G.3 PRS files and royalty statements, 1971-2013, 2 transfer cases
  • G.4 MCPS royalty statements, 1971-2015, 5 transfer cases
  • H Miscellaneous files and correspondence on hymns, 1966-1998, 3 transfer cases
  • I Individual publications/books, files on, chronological by date of publication, 1971-2016, 17 transfer cases
  • L MS proofs of new editions of previous publications, chronological by new publication date, 1984-1987, 4 transfer cases
  • Prayer Books contributors' copies for prayers of TDS, 1 banker's box
  • The Hymn periodical 1985-2016, occasional copies not held by PGL, half a box

Administrative / Biographical History

Timothy Dudley-Smith was born on 26 December 1926 in Manchester. He was educated at Tonbridge School and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was ordained a deacon in 1950 and a priest in 1951. He served as Archdeacon of Norwich, 1973-81 and as Bishopof Thetford, 1981-91. Since his retirement in 1991, he lived near Salisbury until moving to Cambridge in 2020. Bishop Dudley-Smith has been writing hymn texts for more than 30 years. This usually happened during his holidays in Cornwall and he stillwrites 6 or 8 new hymns each year. As a hymn writer, he has published approximately 400 hymn texts (no music, but many to well-known tunes) in four single-author collections, now out of print, but subsumed into a larger collected edition, in threeparts, A House of Praise (1961-2001: 2003; 2002-2013: 2015; 2013-2018: 2019) from the Oxford University Press. Many of his hymns have appeared in published hymnals throughout the English-speaking world and in translation,including six in the New English Hymnal (1986). Eighteen Dudley-Smith hymn texts can be found in Hope's new hymnal Worship & Rejoice (2001). He is an honorary vice-president of theHymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music. In 2003 he was awarded an OBE 'for services to hymnody', and in 2009 an honorary Doctor ofDivinity (DD) from the University of Durham.


As detailed above

Access Information

The collection has not yet been sorted or catalogued. For this reason, it is not normally possible to consult the collection.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Bishop Dudley-Smith 10 February & 6 March 2019 (Acc Nos Misc.2018/19:74 & 85), with further additions 14 June 2019 (Acc No Misc.2018/19:127) and 21 December 2019 (Acc No Misc.2019/20:59)

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyrightowners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

The contents of the collection have not yet been fully appraised, but printed volumes have been passed on to the Bill Bryson Library for duplicates to be weeded out


A functional art : reflections of a hymn writer, Timothy Dudley-Smith (Oxford University Press, 2017)A House of Praise. Collected hymns 1961-2001; Part two: Collected hymns 2002-2013; Part three : Collected Hymns 2013-2018, Timothy Dudley-Smith (Oxford University Press, 2003, 2015, 2019)