Papers of Lord James of Rusholme

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Speeches, lectures and scripts (principally relating to educational themes) from James's time at Manchester Grammar School (1944-1961), the University of York (1962-1973) and after his retirement from York (1973-1987). Papers relating to foreign visits and travel while at Manchester Grammar (1957-1961) and the University of York (1964-1974). Personal and University correspondence, 1960-1989. Published and unpublished articles relating to James and York, 1960-1989. Correspondence and papers relating to the Teacher Training Enquiry which Lord James chaired on behalf of the Ministry for Education, 1970-1972. Correspondence relating to James and the House of Lords, c.1961-1979.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lord Eric John Francis James was born in 1909 in Derbyshire. He studied at Queen's College at the University of Oxford and graduated with first class honors in chemistry in 1931. James was a teacher at Winchester College for twelve years before he became High Master of Manchester Grammar School in 1945. As head of Manchester Grammar, James demanded the highest standards from his staff and pupils. James believed that the purpose of the school was to take pupils from all echelons of society and give them the platform to reach the highest places in the land. James was also known for his contribution to discussions on the importance of education. He was a member of the University Grants Committee from 1949 to 1959, part of the BBC's Brain's Trust, and also on the Central Advisory Council for Education from 1957 to 1961. James's contribution to education was recognized when he was knighted in 1956 and in 1959 he was made a life peer, becoming Baron James of Rusholme. In 1962 he was invited to become the first Vice-Chancellor of the newly founded University of York, which was formally opened in October 1963. As Vice-Chancellor at the University of York, James helped created one of the best post-war higher education institutions. James played a major role in the architectural plans designed for the University and his input was responsible for the University operating a collegiate system - James wanting the students of the University to feel as though they part of a small close-knit community. He was Chairman of the Headmaster's Conference and was asked to conduct the 1971 report on the Education and Training of Teachers, which concluded that teaching should become a graduate profession. James was also a member of the Royal Fine Arts Commission, from 1973 to 1976, and its Chairman, from 1976 to 1979. James died in May 1992.

Lord James of Rusholme in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Conditions Governing Access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including the Data Protection Act 1998.

Acquisition Information

The papers were donated to the University by Lady James in the 1990's.

Other Finding Aids

A typescript catalogue, to file level, is available for consultation in the Borthwick Institute's searchrooms and at the National Register of Archives, London.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Karamdeep Sahota on 27 October 2007.

Conditions Governing Use

A reprographics service is available to researchers. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute, University of York, terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Accruals

Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

University of York: Vice-Chancellors' Papers - Lord Eric James GB 0193 UOY/VC/1 Report of the Vice-Chancellor (1963-1973) GB 0193 UOY/PUB/1