Ann Lambton Papers

Scope and Content

The collection includes three substantial series of research notes, appointment diaries, travel journals, and a few Persian manuscripts. More then 2,000 printed works from Professor Lambton's library are held in the main library's collections(an addition 1,000 duplicates were donated to the University of St Andrew's).

Administrative / Biographical History

A.K.S. Lambton ( Nancy ), OBE, FBA., was a British historian specialising in medieval and early modern Persian history, politics, administration, and linguistics, Islamic political theory, and Persian socialorganisation, particularly land tenure and reform in Iran. From 1932 she studied Persian and Arabic at the School of Oriental Studies in London. She first visited Iran in 1934, and gained her Ph.D. with a thesis on Seljuk institutions in Iran in the11th and 12th centuries. She served in Tehran during the Second World War. After the war she returned to the School of Oriental and African Studies (renamed in 1938) as a senior lecturer in Persian, later as a reader and from 1953 until herretirement in 1979 as Professor of Persian and was the leading western scholar in her field. Her research and writing continued in her long retirement, alongside an active role in the Anglican Church in her home county of Northumberland.


Provisional arrangement:

1. Research notes

2. Appointment diaries

3. Travel journals

4. Correspondence

5. Offprints

6. Persian manuscripts

7. Objects

Access Information

The collection has been box listed but has not yet been catalogued. For this reason, it is not normally possible to consult some parts of the collection. Please contact the Archives and Special Collections before planning your visit. Access tosome files concerning personal references and letters in support of applications will be restricted under terms of the UK Data Protection Act 2018.

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Presented to Durham University Library by George Lambton, 2009 and 2013.

Other Finding Aids

Box list

Separated Material

Printed items from Ann Lambton's library are listed in the library catalogue.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assistwhere possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

Parts of the collection have not yet been fully appraised.


Three Persian Dialects, Royal Asiatic Society (1938)Persian Grammar, Cambridge University Press (1953)Landlord and Peasant in Persia, Oxford University Press (1953; expanded edition 1991)Persian Vocabulary, Cambridge University Press (1954)The Persian Land Reform, Clarendon Press (1969)The Cambridge History of Islam, Cambridge University Press (1970)Theory and Practice in Medieval Persian Government , Variorum (1980)State and Government in Medieval Islam: An Introduction to the Study of Islamic Political Theory: The Jurists, Oxford University Press (1981)Qajar Persia: eleven studies, Tauris 1987