International Congress of Linguists

Scope and Content

The Fifth International Congress of Linguists took place in Brussels from 28 August to 2 September 1939. This material contains correspondence and printed material connected to this Congress. These are:

  • First Circular for the Fifth International Congress of Linguists giving details of the Conference and the topics to be addressed. Written in French, dated 20 October 1938.
  • Postcard from H.W. Bailey to Col. Hoysted, Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to inform him that Bailey was intending to attend the Congress. Handwritten, dated 12 January 1939.
  • Letter from Col. Hoysted, Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to the Secretary, International Congress of Linguists, to inform him that Professor H.W. Bailey will represent the Society at the Congress. Typed, dated 26 January 1939.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Permanent International Committee of Linguists (Comité International Permanent des Linguists, CIPL) was founded in 1928 during the first International Congress of Linguists, which took place in The Hague. This was the first time that Linguistics was presented as an autonomous area of study. The Permanent Committee included leading linguists of the times including Charles Bally, Franz Boas, Otto Jespersen, Daniel Jones and Antoine Meillet. The Congress is held every five years.

The Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland was founded by the eminent Sanskrit scholar Sir Henry Thomas Colebrooke on the 15th March 1823. It received its Royal Charter from King George IV on the 11th August 1824 'for the investigation of subjects connected with and for the encouragement of science, literature and the arts in relation to Asia'. It continues as a forum for those who are interested in the languages, cultures and history of Asia to meet and exchange ideas.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist using the email address given here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The material is part of the institutional records of the Society from its dealings with other organisations.

Archivist's Note

The material was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2019.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

These papers were sent and received by the Royal Asiatic Society in the course of its business.