Karl Britton Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers are primarily concerned with Britton's philosophical work, but the early files also include some correspondence, etc. which he received as President of the Cambridge University Union Society, 1930/31. Britton's publications included Communication: a philosophical study of language (London, 1939), John Stuart Mill (London, 1953; 2nd ed. 1970), and Philosophy and the meaning of life (London, 1969), as well as numerous articles and reviews. The papers include correspondence, notebooks, files of his own published and unpublished works, reports (chiefly for Cambridge University Press) on other authors' manuscripts, and recollections of Cambridge mentors and contemporaries including C.D. Broad, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Kim Philby.

Administrative / Biographical History

Karl Britton graduated from the University of Cambridge (Clare College), where he was President of the Union, 1930/31, and knew Ludwig Wittgenstein. He did postgraduate work at Harvard University, and then held lectureships at Aberystwyth and Swansea before being appointed in 1951 to the chair of philosophy at King's College, Newcastle upon Tyne (then part of the University of Durham, later the University of Newcastle upon Tyne). During his tenure there he held various offices, including Dean of Arts, Public Orator, and Chairman of the Library Committee. He retired in 1975. In 1976 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Durham.

Arrangement

Notebooks, followed by files of loose papers, grouped by category of material.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Professor Britton's daughter, Miss Margaret Britton, 1993.

Other Finding Aids

Summary list.

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 PG.Library@durham.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.