Lord Aberdare's Papers on the History of Tennis and Rackets

Scope and Content

The collection comprise research notes, correspondence, press cuttings and publications, photographs, etc., together with copies of national and local newspapers and journals (which include references to tennis and rackets), which Lord Aberdare assembled in the course of his lifelong research into the history of (real) tennis and rackets, on which he has published the two standard works, The Story of Tennis (1959) and The Willis Faber Book of Tennis and Rackets (1980). Some of the papers were assembled by his father, the 3rd Baron Aberdare (1885-1957), the distinguished athlete, who, with E.B. Noel, was author of First Steps to Rackets (1926) and was editor of the Lonsdale Library volume on Rackets, Squash Rackets, Tennis, Fives and Badminton (1933). The papers were principally assembled over the period since 1932.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lord Aberdare, a Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, was President, inter alia, of The Tennis and Rackets Association. For a summary of his distinguished career in politics and public life, see his entry in Who's Who 2000 and also in Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (2000); the latter work makes reference also to the career of his father, the 3rd Baron. See, too, the article on the 3rd Baron Aberdare by Michael Maclagan in The Dictionary of National Biography 1951-1960 (Oxford U.P., 1971), pp.152-3. Lord Aberdare died on 23 January 2005. An obituary was published in The Times on 29 January 2005.

Access Information

Access is open to bona fide researchers except to those wishing to consult D434/19  who have to obtain the written consent of the Chief Executive and Secretary, The Tennis and Rackets Association, c/o The Queen's Club, Palliser Road, West Kensington, London, W14 9EQ.

Acquisition Information

These papers were deposited by the 4th Baron Aberdare, KBE, DL, London, in November 1987 (D.434/1-9), with a further deposits, D.434/10-27 and D.434/28 and 29 in February 2000 and September and November 2001 respectively.

Other Finding Aids

A finding aid is availble for consultation in the reading room.

Archivist's Note

This finding aid was converted from a Microsoft Word document into EAD 2002 for inclusion on the Archives Hub and to replace the Collection Level Description that was already available on the Hub.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies of original documents and publications held elsewhere cannot be copied.

Following the death of Lord Aberdare, the legal ownership of these papers (D.434) was transferred to one of his sons, the Honourable James H. Morys Bruce.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised.


It is anticipated that there will be future accruals.

Related Material

Special Collections and Archives also holds: D900 Dr. Roger Morgan, Research papers on the history of real tennis and associated ball games, (1599)-2001

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum: Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library hold 1877-20th cent: records, including minutes and publications


Aberdare, Morys George Lyndhurst Bruce, Baron, 1919-, The J.T. Faber book of tennis and rackets, London : Quiller, 2001 .

The following books are available in the Special Collections and Archives Reading room, reference numberSPEC R/GV1003.M84:

Morgan, Roger, 1929-, Tennis : the development of the European ball game, Oxford : Ironbark Ronaldson Publications, 1995

Morgan, Roger, 1929-, Real tennis in Cambridge : the first six hundred years, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2001

Morgan, Roger, 1929-, Tudor tennis : a miscellany ; [foreword by Lord Aberdare], Oxford : Ironbark Ronaldson Publications, 2001