Cecil John Edmonds Collection

Scope and Content

Papers, correspondence and maps relating to Edmonds’ work in the consular service in North Persia, Iraq and Kurdistan. Papers relating to his service in Iraq, 1915-45, including: papers on his service as Administrative Inspector, 1922-24; Liaison Officer to the Mosul Commission, 1925-26; papers, correspondence, and maps relating to Edmond’s work in the consular service in North Persia, Iraq and Kurdistan; official reports 1910-46; tour notes and draft reports 1914-40s; topographical notes; notes on the tribes of Kurdistan; personal correspondence 1913-77; lectures and articles; large collection of maps; diaries 1912-1975; typescript memoirs “East & West of Zagros”. Photo collection.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edmonds, Cecil John (1889-1979) Diplomat

Born 26 October 1889, youngest son of Revd. Walter and Laura Edmonds. Educated at Bedford School; Christ’s Hospital and Pembroke College, Cambridge. Joined Levant Consular Service as Student Interpreter, 1910; acting Vice-Consul, Bushire, 1913; Assistant Political Officer in Mesopotamia, 1915 (Temp. Captain), SW Persia, 1917; Political Officer, British Forces NW Persia, 1919 (Temp. Major, Special List); Special Duty in S. Kurdistan, 1922; Divisional Adviser and Administrative Inspector in the Kirkuk and Sulaimani provinces under Iraq Govt., 1922; Political Officer with military columns in Kurdistan in 1924; Liaison Officer with League of Nations Commission of Inquiry into frontier between Iraq and Turkey, 1925; Asst. Adviser, Min. of Interior, Iraq, 1926; Consul, 1928; British Assessor, League of Nations Commission of Inquiry into the frontier between Iraq and Syria, 1932; Member Of Demarcation Commission of Iraqi-Syrian Frontier, 1933; Adviser, Min. For Foreign Affairs, Iraq, 1933; Member of Iraqi Delegation to the League of Nations, annually, 1932-38; Adviser to the Ministry of the Interior, Iraq, 1935-45; Consul-General, 1937; CMG 1941; UK Permanent Delegate to International Refugee Organisation in 1947; Minister in HM Foreign Service, 1948; retired, 1950. Lecturer in Kurdish at SOAS, 1951-57. Married 1st, 1935, Alison Hooper - 1 son & 2 daughters; 2nd., 1947, Phyllis Stephenson - 1 son. Died 11 June 1979.


  • Boxes 1 – 5 initial deposit.
  • Boxes 6 – 25 later deposit. This is divided into the following sections:
  • A Official papers (divisional and military reports, copies of treaties etc Iraq, Iran, Turkey 1910-1946
  • BUnofficial papers (tour notes, draft reports etc) 1914-1940s
  • CEarly topographical notes (Kurdistan)
  • DEarly notes on the tribes of Kurdistan and other papers
  • EPersonal correspondence
  • FPapers relating to the Kurdish language (and material on other languages)
  • GPapers relating to the study of place names – Kurdistan and other areas of the Middle East
  • HLectures, articles, notes by C J Edmonds on the modern history of the Middle East, Kurdistan etc
  • IPamphlets and articles on the Middle East by authors other than C J Edmonds
  • JPress cuttings and reviews re: Kurdistan 1931-1970s
  • KMapsBoxes 26-28 Diaries and Memoirs

Access Information


For further information on how to use the Middle East Centre Archive, please see our Archon entry at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/a/A13531965

Acquisition Information

The papers were given to St. Antony’s by Edmonds in May 1967 and 1978, the remainder by his son Hugh Edmonds in Feb/March 1981

Other Finding Aids

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description created by Clare Brown 10 June 1998, revised 1 Sept 1998 and revised by Debbie Usher 14 April 2004 and 4 Jan 2011.

Conditions Governing Use

No restrictions on copying or quotation other than statutory regulations and preservation concerns

Custodial History

In the possession of CJ Edmonds

Related Material

In other repositories

Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts. Correspondence with Sir Aurel Stein 1937-1942. Ref MSS Stein

Geographical Names