Papers of the Hands family

Scope and Content

This collection mainly consists of personalia including educational certificates, school reports, examination papers, and notebooks of Hands' mathematical studies at Cambridge. It includes a small amount of ephemera relating to the Board of Education Exhibition which took place in connection with the Imperial Education Conference, 1923 and to the activities of the International Educational Society. Also included are a paper by Hands on 'A simplified curriculum based on occupations', 1925, and papers on experiments with English composition at St Mary's Boys' School, Weymouth and with the topical treatment of history and geography at S. Aldhelm's Girls' School, Branksome, c.1910.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Hands family consisted of William Joseph (b 1865) and his three children, Mary Constance (b 1889), Wilma Sybil (b 1890) and William Joseph George (b 1892). Mary Ann Walker was probably his wife and mother of the children.

William Joseph Hands trained as a teacher at Battersea St John's Training College (1884-1885), and seems to have specialised in science and art. Upon qualification, he worked for a time at Wheathampstead National School, Hertfordshire (at least 1885-1890).

Mary and Sybil Hands also trained as teachers at Salisbury Training College.

William Joseph George Hands studied mathematics at Jesus College, Cambridge, 1910-1914. Although it is not known where he trained as a teacher, he later became His Majesty's Divisional Inspector of Schools for Derby (c.1920s). He was instrumental in the organisation of the Board of Education Exhibition which took place in connection with the Imperial Education Conference, 1923. He also helped to found the International Educational Society which was formed for the purpose of circulating lectures by scholars in literature, science, art and music on gramophone record for use in schools, adult education classes and at home.

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.

Other Finding Aids

Electronic and paper catalogues.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.