The papers of Arthur Primrose Young

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers comprise correspondence, copies of articles, reports, talks, press-cuttings and printed material, related to Young's career and his involvement in public affairs. Subject covered include: British Thomson-Houston Co. Ltd., including early magneto production at Coventry; war-time production measures, 1939-45; BKL Alloys Ltd.; Institution of Works Managers; United Nations Association; Education; Autobiography; overseas visits and contacts; Carl Goerdeler's opposition to Hitler. Correspondents include: F. Ashton-Gwatkin (FO), Sir Charles Bartlett (Vauxhall Motors), Sir Alfred Herbert, J.Little (AEU), R.C.K. Ensor.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Primrose Young (1885-1977) was associated throughout his working life with British Thomson-Houston, the electrical equipment manufacturers of Coventry and Rugby, from which concern he retired as Works Manager in 1945. During his career he was works manager at British Thomson-Houston, Coventry 1921-8, and at British Thomson-Houston, Rugby, 1929-45. Outside the firm he played an important part in the professional development of works management. He was a Christian interested in industry, educational affairs and, briefly on the international scene, through his contacts with a conservative opponent to Hitler, Dr Carl Goerdeler.

Young wrote one unpublished and two published autobiographies and numerous articles and speeches which were the subject of media and research interest. He was a founder member of the British Works Management Association and lectured and wrote extensively on the application of Christian principles to industry. For his work in the development and production of the polar inductor magneto, which went into production in early 1917, Young received the O.B.E.

Reference: A.P. Young, Across the years (Charles Knight, 1971).  A.P. Young, The X Documents (ed. S.Astor, Deutsch, 1974).  R. A. Storey, entry on A.P. Young in the Dictionary of Business Biography (vol. 5, 1986). R. A. Storey, 'The Papers of A. P. Young'in Warwickshire History (vol. VII, no. 6.).


Young used and reused his papers to such an extent that the papers were in considerable disorder when received. Major reorganisation on a subject and correspondent basis was deemed necessary, though a number of apparently original files being retained in the process.

The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre by A P Young in 1982. There have been 5 additional deposits, the last was in 1985.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of this collection-level is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom. A catalogue of the Arthur Primrose Young papers is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources.

Authority records exist for Arthur Primrose Young (GB 152 AAR2019)and British Works Management Association (GB 152 AAR2021).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

No appraisal, destruction or scheduling has taken place.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Institution of Electrical Engineers Archives Department holds correspondence and papers of A. P. Young, 1907-51. Letters to the Manchester Guardian from A.P. Young, 1945-56, are held at Manchester University: John Rylands Library.