The collection contains working papers relating to a number of Peer's published works, including his Studies of the Spanish Mystics(vol. 1 1927, vol.2 1930, vol.3 1960), his translations of P.Silvero de Santa Teresa's editions of The Complete Works of st John of the Cross (3 vols. 1934-1935), The Complete Works of Santa Teresa of Jesus(3 vols 1946), The letters of Santa Teresa of Jesus(1951), a projected fourth volume of Studies of the Spanish Mystics, and A life of Ramon Lull(1929) and press cuttings, lecture notes and correspondence relating to Spain during the Civil War and its aftermath and includes a collection of over 900 books and pamphlets. The collection also includes the Spanish civil war microfilm collection of 3,000 pamphlets arranged by subject, based on the collection of the American journalist and historian, Herbert Rutledge Southworth.
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 141 Peers
- Dates of Creation1921-1960
- Name of Creator
- Physical Description31 archive boxes, 1 box of medals and over 900 books
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
E.Allison Peers (1891-1952) was appointed lecturer in Spanish at the University of Liverpool in 1920 and Gilmour Professor of Spanish in 1922. He was the first to recognise the importance of Spanish Studies in Great Britain after the First World War, and campaigned tirelessly to promote Spanish through lectures, conferences, holiday courses in Spain (San Sebastian) and England, and in publishing a stream of textbooks, anthologies and study aids.
Peers believed passionately in higher education teaching methods based on original research and hard learning. He provoked lively debate and major contribution to the polemic of university problems and policies in the 1940's by publishing, under the pseudonym Bruce Truscot', he published two controversial and highly influential books, Redbrick University(1943) and Redbrick and these Vital Days(1945). Published at a crucial period in the debate over the future form and development of post-war universities, they contained thinly-disguised criticism of some of the leading educationalists at Liverpool.
In 1923 he founded the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, the column analysing contemporary events in, 'Spain, Week by Week' equipped him admirably, at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, to write with astonishing prescience The Spanish Tradgedy(1936) and Spain, the Church and the Orders (1939) - a defence of the Catholic Church.
Peer's output was prolific, amounting to the writing or editing of some 60 books. His works Studies of the Spanish Mystics(1927-1930)The History of the Romantic Movement in Spain(1940) were ground-breaking and his translations of the complete works of San Juan de la Cruz and Santa Teresa have received international acclaim and and the imprimatur of the Catholic Church - a significant achievement for a scholar who was neither a Roman Catholic by conviction nor a theologian by training.
His scholarship was rewarded with distinctions from the universities of Glasgow, Madrid, Columbia, New York, New Mexico, California, Cambridge, Oxford, the Hispanic Society of America and the Institut d'Estudis Catalans. Peers died in December 1952 at the age of sixty-one.
The Peers Collection is arranged into groups of Books (catalogued separately) pamphlets, press cuttings (arranged chronologically), lecture notes and correspondence relating to Spain during the Civil War and its aftermath and letters, notes and press cuttings relating to his work on Spanish Mystics
The material is grouped in three broad sections:
- PEERS I-VII: The Spanish mystics
- PEERS VIII: Offprints of Peers' work on other subjects
- PEERS IX-XXX & BII/12: Press cuttings and ephemera relating to the Spanish Civil War and later Spanish politics
Access is open to bona fide researchers
The Peers collection was originally collected by Edgar Allison Peers and was given to the University of Liverpool Library after professor Peers death in 1952 . The collection has since been added to, in 1991 Birmingham University Library offered the University of Liverpool a bound volume of press cuttings on the foundation and the early history of the Liverpool Institute of Hispanic studies dating from October 1934-1939, this was part of the library collection of Prof. Derek Lomax. The Southwark microfilm collection was bought to supplement the Spanish Civil War collections already held in the archive.
Other Finding Aids
A hand list is available for consultation in the reading room, the book collection can be searched using the local call number SPEC Peers on the Universities on-line catalogue
The collection level description was revised in 2004 by Roy Lumb, additional material (BII/12) was listed by Hayley Thomas in 2006.
The University of Leeds University Library, Special Collections hold the Library of E. Allison Peers received April 1953 and Ms. 737 and Ms. 583 Additional letters and papers of E. Allison Peers
Conditions Governing Use
Reproduction and licensing rules available on request
There are no anticipated accruals
Location of Originals
The originals of the material in the Southworth microfilm collection are held at the University of California at San Diego