Papers of T.E. Lawrence and A.W. Lawrence, c.1894-1985

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Eng. b. 2095-6, c. 6737-58, c. 6767, d. 3327-49, e. 3299-301; Photogr. b. 27, c. 122-6, d. 27-8; Film 2058
  • Dates of Creation
      [ca. 1894-1985]
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      60 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Papers of T.E. Lawrence, with some related material c.1894-1970, and the correspondence and papers of A.W. Lawrence relating to his brother T.E. Lawrence, 1917-85.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888-1935), was an archaeologist, soldier and author. He participated in the British Museum Expedition excavating the Hittite city of Carchemish, 1910-14. He was involved in the Arab Revolt from 1916 to 1918, and petitioned for the Arab cause in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. After his resignation as adviser to the Colonial Office in 1922, he wrote a personal account of the Arab revolt, which was published as The Seven Pillars of Wisdom in 1922. Further details can be found in the introduction to the online catalogue ( and in the Dictionary of National Biography. Arnold Walter Lawrence was Lawrence's youngest brother. After his brother's death, A.W. Lawrence spent a considerable part of his life promoting Lawrence's memory, collecting papers about him, and condemning what he considered any misrepresentation of his character in the press. At the same time he pursued his own career as a professor of Archaeology at Cambridge University and at the University College of Ghana.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

T.E. Lawrence's papers were given to the Bodleian Library by the Lawrence family over a period of 45 years, beginning with a gift of family letters in 1939, and continuing to arrive intermittently throughout the decades to 1985. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust gave a bundle of press cuttings to add to the collection in 2000 (see MS. Eng. c. 6767).

The papers were given to the Bodleian on condition that until 1970 they could be consulted only with the written permission of the Lawrence Trustees (who acted for the family). This restriction was later extended to 1 January 2000. From that date the Bodleian administers requests for access to and copies of the papers.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the collection is available online at

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to publish or quote from the papers must be addressed in writing to the Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust, through the Bodleian Library.

Related Material

Other Lawrence papers in the Bodleian include the holograph draft of the third version of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (MS. Eng. hist. d. 112), to be consulted on the microfilm available in the Modern Papers Reading Room; the final draft of The Mint (MS. Eng. hist. c. 607); and a commonplace book, Minorities (MS. Eng. misc. d. 788). There are groups of letters from Lawrence to A.E. Chambers, Geoffrey Dawson, E.T. Leeds (Dep. c. 760, fols. 1-160) and transcripts of letters to his mother (MSS. Eng. lett. c. 146-7). Material concerning him is included in the papers of Lionel Curtis (MSS. Curtis 96, fols. 121-68; 97) and of Geoffrey Dawson. Further individual letters are to be found scattered through the Library's holdings; details are available in the Accessions Index, on cards, in Duke Humfrey's Library. In addition, Jesus College, Oxford holds Lawrence's 1910 thesis; requests to consult it must be made in writing to the Fellow Archivist at Jesus College.