Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes: Personal Papers and Correspondence

Scope and Content

Box 1: Typescripts of Gates ('No Life Is Long Enough').

Box 2: Typescripts of Gates; reviews of Gates; letters to Keynes prompted by its publication.

Box 3: Original copies of 'The Enthusiast'; letters from Keynes to his parents, written from Rugby; Rugby School handbooks.

Boxes 4-6: Envelopes containing letters to Keynes.

Box 7: Papers concerning Eric Gill; unsorted letters, c. 1938-1940.

Box 8: Bound volume of letters from Keynes to A.T. Bartholomew, 1906-1920, including many written from France and Flanders during World War I. There are letters to Keynes from Cosmo Gordon and Bartholomew, and letters and postcards from Manny Forbes.

Box 9: Letters from Siegfried Sassoon to Keynes; photos.

Box 10: Unsorted general personal correspondence, c. 1970-1982.

Box 11: Unsorted general personal correspondence, 1970s, including letters from Keynes's family.

Box 12: Letters from Stephen Gooden to Keynes, with accounts, photographs and other material, mainly from the 1930s; a large number of John Lawson's catalogues, and letters from Lawson to Keynes; letters from A.T. Bartholomew to Keynes, 1908-1913.

Box 13: Files and notebooks relating to Thomas Browne; Keynes's scrapbook of cuttings and other papers on Thomas Browne.

Box 14: Files on aspects of Keynes and William Blake, including the Trianon Press, Blake Trust, and Blake Studies, with correspondence; a file on nightingale poems.

Box 15: Files on the Blake Trust, Blake letters, Pilgrims' progress, the Trianon Press, Blake iconography, etc.; MS of a paper on William Hazlitt; file on the Bibliographical Society.

Box 16: Photographs and negatives of pictures by or related to William Blake; file on Blake letters; material for illustrations to Blake letters.

Box 17: Max Plowman's letters on William Blake text, 1920s; Keynes's notebooks and typescripts on Blake; Keynes's notebooks on William Harvey and Blake; correspondence on Blake bibliography, etc.; file on the Grolier Club; file on Job illustrations, Hofer and Pierpont Morgan Library.

Box 18: Files on Martin Lister, Joseph Glanvill, Robert Hooke, John Ray, Edward Gibbon, and Edward Collier pictures.

Box 19: Papers concerning John Evelyn: bound typescript of Keynes's Sandars Lectures in 1933-1934; box of papers relating to Evelyn bibliography; other files on Evelyn.

Box 20: Miscellaneous papers relating to Jane Austen; file of papers relating to Izaac Walton; file of papers relating to Thomas Willis; typescript of a 1961 lecture by Keynes on Timothie Bright.

Box 21: Correspondence, papers, notebooks, and other material, relating to a bibliography of William Berkeley.

Box 22: Book of cuttings from booksellers' catalogues on John Donne; Keynes's scrapbooks of cuttings and other papers on Donne; other papers relating to Donne and his library.

Box 23: Two of Keynes's scrapbooks on John Donne, c. 1913-1944 and c. 1950-1982.

Box 24: Papers connected with the edition of Rupert Brooke's letters, royalties, etc; typescript of a lecture by Keynes on Brooke; Keynes's two volumes of press cuttings, reviews and other material about Brooke, 1907-1982.

Box 25: Keynes's typescript on William Blake, dated 28 April 1942, with extensive MS annotations by Keynes and others, in a large bound volume 'William Blake Drawings and Paintings', Draft V; early scrapbook of cuttings on Blake, not compiled by Keynes; scrapbook containing reviews and over papers concerning Keynes's Nonesuch Blake (1925).

Box 26: Material relating to Keynes's work on Thomas Browne.

Box 27: Keynes's notebook on William Harvey; Keynes's volumes of cuttings, containing reviews, catalogue entries, newspaper articles, and other material, on John Evelyn (3 vols.), Harvey, Thomas Browne (3 vols.), William Hazlitt, and Jane Austen (2 vols.).

Box 28: Medical papers: World War II notes on wounded air-crew, in notebooks; MSS of lectures and papers on medical subjects.

Box 29: Medical papers: case histories, c. 1930-1950.

Box 30: Ballet papers: file on Camargo Society; envelopes containing ballet programmes, and Marlowe Society programmes' file on the Job ballet; volume of cuttings on the Job ballet, 1948.

Box 31: Miscellaneous papers: photographs of Keynes, including one at Weston, 1917; envelope of photographs of picnics on Granta, pre-World War I, labelled C.A. Gordon; miscellaneous early family photographs; photographs of a holiday in Cornwall, July 1914; other photographs; Keynes's honorary degrees - speeches, certificates and other papers; files of papers relating to the trustees of A.T. Bartholomew; file of papers relating to the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery; file of papers relating to bibliographies; files on Erasmus Darwin letters; 'Puff Kersley by Leo'; David Godine catalogues; files of papers relating to the Keynes Trustees in the 1950s; the official valuation for probate of J.M. Keynes's stocks and shares in the U.K. and U.S.; several pages of J.M. Keynes's MS of a book on Indian Currency; booklet, 'The Doom according to Keynes', by D.W. Walsh, 1920; sermon on 'The Economic Consequences of the Peace'; file of press cuttings on the death of J.M. Keynes; photocopy of J.M. Keynes's will; letters from Roy Harrold and others on the Keynes Estate; letters to G.L. Keynes prompted by the death of J.M. Keynes; carbon copies of letters from J.M. Keynes; correspondence between J.M. Keynes's executors and publishers about the republication and reprinting of his books, 1946-1952.

Box 32: Papers on Samuel Butler, Edward Johnston, calligrapher, and A.E. Housman; bound volume of Keynes's cuttings up to 1982 (his own short publications, letters to newspapers, etc.); material concerning Gwen Raverat, including several woodcuts.

Box 33: Keynes's typescript catalogues of his own books at Boundary Road, Arkwright Road, in the 1930s.

Box 34: Bound folder of The seven pillars of wisdom, including cuttings; bound volume of letters from T.E. Lawrence to Keynes; press cuttings on T.E. Lawrence's death; offical documents relating to Keynes's commission in the R.A.M.C., August 1914; Keynes, MS, 'A Very Modern Utopian', on H.G. Wells; Keynes, MS, 'Minutes of Climbs in Wales', September 1907; 'My Canadian Diary', 1956-1957, 401 pages, bound volume; Keynes, book plates, and 'Ex Dono Geoffrey Keynes' labels; packet of letters from Keynes to Simon Novell-Smith, 1929-1982.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes (1887-1982), surgeon, bibliographer and literary scholar, was born in Cambridge on 25 March 1887. His brother was John Maynard Keynes, later Lord Keynes. Geoffrey went to school at Rugby, before entering Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1906, to study natural sciences. He trained at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I. After the war he became part of the surgical team at Bart's, where he was appointed assistant surgeon in 1928. During World War II he was consulting surgeon to the R.A.F., and was made acting air vice-marshal in 1944. He retired from Bart's in 1952, and received a knighthood in 1955.

Keynes wrote many bibliographies and biographies. The subjects of his works include Jane Austen, Rupert Brooke, John Donne, John Evelyn, William Harvey, William Hazlitt, Siegfried Sassoon, Izaak Walton, and, in particular, William Blake. His work on Thomas Willis remained uncompleted at his death. Keynes was a great admirer of ballet, and wrote his own ballet, Job, with music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, which was first performed by the Camargo Society in 1931.

Access Information

The contents of box 29 are closed to readers until 2025. The rest of the collection is open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Received from the library of Sir Geoffrey L. Keynes, 1982.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Keynes in Lord Blake and C.S. Nicholls, eds., Dictionary of national biography, 1981-1985 (Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 224-226.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other papers of Sir Geoffrey Keynes, MSS.Add.8828, 8829 and 9350.