Albert Frederick Pollard papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains personal correspondence from Alfred Pollard, primarily to his parents and his secretary, E. J. Davis (1884-1925, 9 boxes). There are also letters from Pollard's father, Henry, primarily to his son (1885-1924, 4 boxes). These letters give a valuable insight into the development of Alfred's historical and political opinions as well as providing an account of domestic circumstances in the Pollard family. The remainder of the papers relate to Alfred's academic and University of London activities. These papers contain correspondence and printed items, and span the length of his academic life. Key phases and activities recorded in the papers include: Alfred's achievements during his own university education; contributions to the Dictionary of National Biography; involvement with the Committee of the League of Nations, the Historical Association, the Institute of Historical Research, the University of London's Academic Council, the Anglo-American Conference of Historians, University College London, the London History School, Victoria County History, Committee of the History of Parliament; and his candidature for the London Liberal Federation for the University of London constituency. There are also boxes of lecture-notes, newspaper cuttings, scrapbooks, and pocket diaries.

Administrative / Biographical History

Albert Frederick Pollard was born on 16 December 1869. He received a scholarship to Jesus College, Oxford University, where he attended the Union and rowed in the college eight. At Oxford he received a first class degree in History. In 1893, Pollard obtained the assistant editorship of the Dictionary of National Biography where he remained for nine years. In 1903, he became Professor of Constitutional History at University College London and in 1908 he was elected to a research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford. His seminal publications include England under the Protector Somerset (1900), Henry VIII (1905) and Evolution of Parliament (1920). Pollard was also a co-founder of the Historical Association in 1903, editor of its journal History for six years and President 1912-1915. Most signally for the University of London, he was founder of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and Director and Honorary Director in turn from its opening in July 1921 until 1939. His long association with the University of London included the continuous Chairmanship of the Board of the Studies in History from 1910 until 1923. Pollard was also deeply interested in modern history and politics and in 1918 he served on the Government Committee on the League of Nations. For three consecutive years 1922-1924, Pollard stood unsuccessfully as Liberal candidate for the University of London seat. In 1924, Pollard took up the post of Visiting Professor at Columbia University for four months and toured a number of universities in Canada and the USA. In 1920, Pollard was elected to the British Academy and in 1930 he was made a Corresponding Member of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (Institut de France). By 1933, he had received an Honorary Degree from Manchester University and become an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. He died on 3 August 1948.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research. Access to individual items in Senate House Library archives collections may be restricted under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act. See Archivist for details. 24 hours notice is necessary for research visits.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Institute of Historical Research in 1976; additional deposit made in 1989

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description. A box list also available in the Library's Palaeography Room in the Unbound Archive Handlists folder.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.