Papers of Jane Lidderdale

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 GB 196 7JLI
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 7/XX23; 7/XXX23
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      0.5 A box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

The archive consists of material re a memoir of Harriet Shaw Weaver that Lidderdale was invited by the family to write in 1962. These two files contain Lidderdale's correspondence with the authors Margaret Storm Jameson and Dame Rebecca West, whom she approached while writing the book. Jameson recollected only an invitation in 1914 from Harriet Shaw Weaver to work for the magazine 'The Egoist' (which she could not accept) and brief contact with the author and publisher Dora Marsden. West was more closely involved with Dora, as she worked on the latter's journal 'The New Freewoman' and introduced to it various contributions of literary fame, including Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington. On receiving Miss Lidderdale's drafts of the relevant sections of her memoir, Dame Rebecca sent detailed comments and suggestions which provide interesting information on Dora Marsden and various contributors to 'The New Freewoman'. Included with her papers is a photograph of Dame Rebecca taken in about 1935 and presented to Miss Lidderdale in 1969.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jane Lidderdale (1909-1996) was born in Hampstead in Jul 1909, the granddaughter of the painter C S Lidderdale. She was educated at the Society for Home Students (later St Anne's College), Oxford, where she studied PPE. After briefly working at the Royal Institute of British Architects, she moved to the Ministry of Shipping in 1940 where she became the secretary to a number of cabinet committees during the Second World War and its aftermath. She was appointed secretary to the Fuel Committee during the crisis of the winter 1946-7 and went on to work closely with Herbert Morrison during the organisation of the Festival of Britain which took place in 1951, for which she was awarded the OBE the following year. She was then appointed secretary and head researcher for the Nathan Report on Trust Law in 1952 before leaving the Civil Service the following year. After her withdrawal from the service, Lidderdale opened Ray House with Rachel Alexander to provide care for older women. She went on to help found the Kensington Day Centre in 1963 and remained its chair until 1988. She also became involved with the Byham Shaw School of Painting and Drawing in this period and was elected to its council of management in 1961, becoming its Chair nine years later. In 1962 she became one of the guardians of James Joyce's daughter Lucia. Her connection with the Modernists was emphasised in the 1960's when Lidderdale was invited by to write a memoir of Harriet Shaw Weaver, her own godmother and the patron of Joyce, Eliot and Pound. This was published in 1970. She died in Sep 1996.

Access Information

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the Library by Jane Lidderdale in 1989.

Other Finding Aids

Fawcett Library Catalogue

Related Material

The papers of Harriet Shaw Weaver are held in a number of repositories. Her correspondence and papers are held by the British Library, Manuscript Collections (1912-60, Ref. Add MSS 57345-65) and London University College London (UCL) Manuscripts Room (1914-61); her correspondence with Patricia Hutchins related to James Joyce (1949-59) is in Trinity College Dublin (Ref. MSS 4908-1) and the papers related to her Ts Symposium on Time (1955) are in Oxford University Philosophy Library.


The papers contained in this collection were the working papers for the publication 'Dear Miss Weaver: Harriet Shaw Weaver, 1876-1961' which was published in London by Faber in 1970.