Joseph Chamberlain, Letters Additional of

Scope and Content

Artificial collection of letters and other papers of and relating to Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914), statesman

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Chamberlain was born in 1836; he was educated at University College School, and at the age of sixteen moved from London to Birmingham to join his uncle's screw manufacturing business, Nettlefold and Chamberlain; he became a member of the Birmingham Education Society, the National Education League, and was chairman of the Birmingham School Board [1868-1873]; he was a member of Birmingham Town Council [1872-1880], being Councillor for St Paul's Ward and Mayor [1873-1876]; he was MP for West Birmingham [1876-1914]; President of the Board of Trade [1880-1885]; President of the Local Government Board [1886]; Secretary of State for the Colonies, [1895-1903]; Chancellor of the University of Birmingham [1901-1914]; and Lord Rector of Glasgow University. He died on 2 July 1914


This collection is catalogued at item or file level and the individual documents are numbered in a single numerical sequence which reflects the order in which they were acquired. The items in this collection are mounted in fascicules and stored in custom made boxes

Access Information

Access to all registered researchers

Acquisition Information

Most items in this collection have been acquired by purchase as a means of complementing and supporting the large personal archive of Joseph Chamberlain. The collection also includes a number of gifts and deposits and photocopies of originals held elsewhere. For information about the provenance of specific items, please contact the University Archivist for further details.

Other Finding Aids

Please see the online archive catalogue for further details.

Alternative Form Available

The majority of this collection (JCLAdd/1-557) is available on microfilm. Facilities are available at Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections for researchers to make paper copies of individual items from these microfilms for their own private research purposes. The microfilm copy has been micropublished by Primary Source Media as part of its major micropublication of the Chamberlain Papers

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Director of Special Collections (email: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


Regular additions are made to this collection by purchase, gift or deposit

Related Material

Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections holds several related collections. Click on the finding numbers below for further details.

Joseph Chamberlain Collection ( JC)

Neville Chamberlain Collection ( NC)

Austen Chamberlain Collection ( AC)

Beatrice, Ida and Hilda Chamberlain Collection ( BC)

Chamberlain Family Collection ( C)

Artificial collections of letters and other documents of Austen and Neville Chamberlain ( ACLAdd and NCLAdd)


There are a considerable number of biographies of Joseph Chamberlain. These include the official biography, commissioned by the family, 'Life of Joseph Chamberlain', by James Louis Garvin and completed by Julian Amery (London: Macmillan and Co, 1932-1969, 6 vols); and more recently, 'Joseph Chamberlain. Entrepreneur in Politics' by Peter T. Marsh (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994)