Proof copy of the Selborne memorandum

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 115 RCS/RCMS 205
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      English .
  • Physical Description
      1 volume(s) 1 volume paper

Scope and Content

'A review of the present mutual relations of the British South African colonies', with corrections and notes, 183 pages. This copy is a proof dated 19-21 December 1906, and was amended by Lord Selborne, according to a manuscript note by Lionel Curtis of 14 January 1925. This proof is not the final revision, since there are some portions, such as p. 5, where the proof version and the amendment differ from the eventual publication. In addition to Lord Selborne's amendments, some portions have marginal notes in pencil, possibly by Curtis, apparently intended to summarise the argument.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Waldegrave Palmer Selborne (1859-1942), 2nd Earl of Selborne, was appointed British High Commissioner in South Africa in 1905. In 1906 he gave approval for a report, proposed by Lionel Curtis, on the British South African colonies. Curtis enlisting the help of his fellow members of 'Milner's Kindergarten', and held discussions and meetings at which successive drafts were produced. This process was presided over by Selborne, who gave his name to the resulting memorandum.

Access Information

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Acquisition Information

Presented by the R.I.I.A., April 1976, which received the memorandum from Lionel Curtis.


Includes index.

Other Finding Aids


MSS Addenda, vol. III.

A catalogue of the collection can be found on ArchiveSearch.


Basil Williams, 'The Selbourne memorandum' (1925), pp. xxii-xxiv, describes the publishing history of the memorandum, including the method by which it was given official status (pp. xix-xx). Williams notes that there were several proofs (p. xviii).

Additional Information

This collection level description was created by RAS using information from the original typescript catalogue.

Selborne, William Waldegrave Palmer, 1859-1942, 2nd Earl of Selborne