Papers of Alfred Milner, Viscount Milner, 1824-1955

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Milner dep. 1-698, MS. Milner dep. adds. 1
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      English, German, French, and Dutch.
  • Physical Description
      699 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

  • General correspondence, 1872-1925
  • Diaries and notebooks, 1875-1925
  • General papers, 1886-1925
  • Papers relating to South Africa, 1892-1926
  • Papers relating to World War I, 1913-19
  • Papers as Secretary of State for the Colonies
  • Personal papers, 1885-1926
  • General Printed material, 1857-1939
  • Family correspondence and papers, 1824-1928
  • Correspondence and papers of Lady Milner, 1900-55
  • Correspondence and papers of Cecil and Maurice Headlam, 1931-40
  • Photographs

The greater part of the collection relates to Lord Milner's position as High Commissioner for South Africa.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alfred, Viscount Milner (1854-1925) was a statesman. His positions included director general of accounts in Egypt, 1889-92; chair of the Board of Inland Revenue, 1892-97; and High Commissioner for South Africa, 1897-1905. He returned to England in 1905, from which date he worked in the City and served as a member of various committees and as a Rhodes Trustee. In 1916 he became a member of the War Cabinet. In April 1918 he became Secretary of State for War and in December of the same year Secretary of State for the Colonies, a post which he held until his resignation in 1921. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

New College deposited the papers in the Bodleian Library on a temporary basis in 1964, and on a permanent basis in 1975.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue is available in the Library. An online catalogue will shortly be available (

Custodial History

Lord Milner's widow gave the whole collection to New College, Oxford in 1933.

Related Material

See also: Additional papers of Alfred Milner, Viscount Milner, 1884-1920, and Violet Milner Papers


The papers were extensively used by Cecil Headlam in his edition of The Milner Papers, South Africa (2 vols., London, 1931, 1933).