Papers of James, Viscount Bryce, 1826-1958

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Bryce 1-528, Bryce U.S.A. 1-33
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      English, and French.
  • Physical Description
      561 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Papers of James Bryce. The bulk of the papers covers Bryce's political and literary career, 1857-1922. The papers include:

  • correspondence, 1857-1922
  • papers relating to education, 1865-1907
  • constituency and political papers, 1868-1915
  • papers as Regius Professor of Civil Law, 1870-93
  • papers relating to Armenia, 1876-1922
  • papers relating to Ireland, 1881-1921
  • papers relating to the Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1892-5
  • papers relating to the British Academy, 1899-1921
  • papers as Ambassador to Washington, 1907-13
  • papers relating to World War I, 1914-21
  • literary papers, 1864-1936

There is also a large section of Family papers, including much family correspondence and many family photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Bryce, Viscount Bryce of Dechmont (1838-1922) was a jurist, historian and statesman. He was Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford (1870-93) and had an interest in Eastern matters, especially Armenia. After holding posts as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1892-4, President of the Board of Trade, 1894, chairman of the Royal Commission on Secondary Education, 1894-5, Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1905-6, he was made British Ambassador to Washington in 1907 and remained there until 1913. Further details can be found in the introduction to the online catalogue ( and 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

The papers were given to the Library, 1946-90. In 1974 and 1985 the Bodleian purchased a quantity of papers from Peter Eaton, and Bertrand Rota, booksellers, deriving from the same source as the gift.


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

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the collection is available online at

Alternative Form Available

For conservation reasons, microfilms, on open access in the Modern Papers and John Johnson Reading Room, are to be consulted in place of the original papers.