Personal and academic papers of Neville Horton Smith (1914-1987), Professor of German atthe University of Nottingham, 1945-1979

Scope and Content

The majority of the collection relates to the years which Neville Horton Smith spent as Professorof German at the University of Nottingham. They refer to academic contacts and research as well asto his work as an author and translator, and his activities as an expert on Hungarian and Germanlanguage and literature. The principal series in the collection are:

  • Manuscript and typescript essays, articles, research notes and translations. 1946-1979 (MS409/1);
  • Correspondence. 1946-1979 (MS 409/2);
  • Personal items and printed ephemera; newspaper cuttings; poems and prose written by or referringto works by Audrey Beecham, Hilda Lewis and Ferdinand Freiligrath; an annotated printed copy of'Duineser Elegien' by Rainer Maria Rilke, and a few papers relating to the University of Nottinghamincluding Mountaineering Club and Students' Union membership cards. 1945-1979 (MS 409/3).

Administrative / Biographical History

Neville Horton Smith was born in Worcester in 1914 and was educated at Bloxham School between1927 and 1933. He spent a year as assistant master at Cleve Court Preparatory School, Worcesterbefore entering Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he remained until 1937. In 1936 and 1937 heattended courses at the universities of Paris and Bonn as Heath Harrison Travelling Scholar. Whilein Paris, he learnt Hungarian. His research topic at the time was 18th century humorists. In 1939,he became assistant master at King's College, Taunton. During the Second World War, Horton Smithworked as a researcher both in the UK and the USA where his language skills were utilised.

In 1946, Horton Smith joined University College Nottingham (now the University of Nottingham) asassistant lecturer in German. He was promoted to full lectureship in 1948, senior lectureship in1966, and a readership in 1974. In 1976 he was appointed to the Chair of German from which heretired in 1979. While at the University, he had a long association with Hugh Stewart Hall. EmeritusProfessor Neville Horton Smith died on 28 January 1987.

Horton Smith published relatively little; his works included 'Justus Moser and the British','Expressionism in poetry', and 'The Anti-romanticism of Goethe'. He worked on Hungariandictionaries, concordances and translations. He was an extensive reviewer, particularly from 1949for the reviewing journal 'Erasmus' whose editorial board he joined in 1969. He translated threetheological books by Bon Hoeffer, Gogarten and Heim. Jointly with Canon C.S. Bayes, he wrote theNottinghamshire chapter in John Betjeman's book on English parish churches which was published in1958.


The collection has been divided by document type into series. Within these series, items havebeen arranged chronologically where possible.

Access Information

ACCESS: Pending full cataloguing, access is limited andis only available to registered readers with advance notice and agreement.

LANGUAGE: English, Hungarian, German

Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Separated Material

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by the University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts andSpecial Collections in 1987.

Related Material

  • University of Nottingham: Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections: Papers of AudreyBeecham (died 1989), lecturer and warden of the University of Nottingham's Florence Nightingale Hallof Residence. 1952-1971. Reference number: AB