Scope and Content

Contains: diary 1928; reviews of Massingham's books Tree of Life and Men of Earth 1943-1944; correspondence 1938; file of anecdotes c1930's; notes and photographs of archaeological finds and sites c1930's; notebook 1930's; map of Gloucestershire c1930's; map showing the Old Way from Basingstoke to Salisbury Plain c1930's; file of articles 1942-1957; file of periodicals 1943-1947; booklet Dry stone Dyking by Colnel F Rainsford Hannay 1944; copies of published and draft articles 1918-c1930's; photographs c1940's

Administrative / Biographical History

Harold John Massingham was born in 1888 and spent his early life in London where he was educated at Westminster School. This was followed by Queen's College Oxford at which he first read history, later transferring to English literature but he failed to graduate due to illness. Massingham returned to London to follow a career in journalism where he worked for the Morning Leader, National Press Agency and the Athenaeum 1912-1914. He made weekly contributions to the Nation and Athenaeum 1916-1924. He also contributed to The Field 1938-1951 and the Spectator in 1951. As a precursor to the modern ecological movement and a major contributor to English rural literature he encompassed all facets of English rural life from pre history to the twentieth century. Massingham's interests in literature, art, ornithology, archaeology, anthropology, geology, topography, agricultural and rural history were all brought to bear on his subject of England and it's countryside. He died in 1952.


A1-5 Biographical and personal information

B1-2 Correspondence

C1-3 Research Material

D1-5 Reference Material

E1-5 Published Works

F1-7 Draft copies of work

H1-12 Photographs

Access Information

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

The records were deposited in April 1997 as a gift Accession number DX225


Compiled by Caroline Gould, 18 December 2002

Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is available at the Museum of English Rural Life

Conditions Governing Use

Please contact the Archivist