Papers relating to Professor David Daiches (b. 1912)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-694
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      4 letters, 1 postcard, 1 corrected typescript. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location
      E87.97; E92.46; E92.70; E93.122

Scope and Content

The material is composed of: corrected typescript of two book reviews, 1972-1973, one of which is review for Review of English studies; correspondence with C. M. Grieve (Hugh MacDiarmid), 1951-1975, and 1952-1974; and, typed letters, 1962-1978.

Administrative / Biographical History

The writer and critic Professor David Daiches was born in Sunderland on 2 September 1912. He was the son of the author Rabbi Dr. Salis Daiches (1880-1945), Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation. The younger Daiches was educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh, and studied at Edinburgh University and Balliol College, Oxford. Between 1935 and 1936 he was an Assistant in English at Edinburgh University and then from 1936 to 1937 was a Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. Daiches began to be published at this time - The place of meaning in poetry (1935), New literary values (1936), and Literature and society (1938). During the Second World War he was Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago from 1939 until 1943, before becoming Second Secretary at the British Embassy, Washington DC, from 1944 to 1946. After the War he was Professor of English at Cornell University, 1946-1951, and in 1947 he founded the Scottish Universities' International Summer School (SUISS). From 1951 until 1962, Daiches was an English Lecturer at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, from 1957 to 1962. During this period too he went back to the USA as Visiting Professor of Criticism at Indiana University, 1956-1957. He was appointed as Professor of English at the University of Sussex where he stayed from 1961 to 1977. He was also Dean of the School of English Studies, 1961 to 1968. Daiches was awarded the CBE in 1991, and he was, for a time, Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at Edinburgh University. Latterly he was Emeritus Professor at Sussex. His other published works spanning some sixty years of output include The novel and the modern world (1939), Virginia Woolf (1942), A study of literature (1948), Robert Burns (1950), John Milton (19! 57), A critical history of English literature (1960), The paradox of Scottish culture (1964), Scotch whisky (1969), Robert Louis Stevenson and his world (1973), A companion to Scottish culture (1981), A weekly Scotsman and other poems (1994).

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Book reviews, purchased Bristow, October 1987, Accession no. E87.97. Grieve correspondence, donated by Daiches, July 1992, Accession no. E92.46, and August 1992, Accession no. E92.70. Letters, purchased Huggett, December 1993, Accession no. E93.122.


Two items not found in September 2003 (E92.46; E92.70).

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who's who 2003. London: A. and C. Black, 2003.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes one or two locations of Professor David Daiches related material: correspondence and literary MSS, 1963-1970, Queens University Archives; and, letters to the Manchester Guardian, 1952, Manchester University, John Rylands Library, Ref. Guardian archives NRA 18162 Guardian.

In addition, University of Southampton Libraries, Special Collections (MS.189), holds Correspondence of Dr. Salis Daiches - Daiches' father - and this is described on the Archives Hub service.