Papers of Reverend James William Parkes

Scope and Content

Correspondence and notes relating to Dr Parkes' publications and activities; files including correspondence with Revd W.W.Simpson, Raphael Loewe, Rabbi Solomon Bernards, Selig Brodetsky and the Board of Deputies; papers relating to the Council of Christians and Jews, the Church of England Committee for Non-Aryans, the Anglo-Israel Association, the Jewish Historical Society and the Society for Old Testament Study. The papers include drafts of Parkes' publications and notes from and for lectures, for instance, on Zionism and the Mandate, 1939-47. Newspaper cuttings on a wide range of subjects including the Suez crisis of 1956, the Palestine question, anti-Semitism and fascism, together with pamphlet material on fascism in the East End of London, 1936-7. Scripts of broadcasts given by Parkes, for the BBC, ranging from his series of talks on the history of the Jews, 1939, to his talk on 'Israel, the diaspora and the world outside' from September 1966. Other sections of the archive encompass personal and financial papers, photographs and material relating to the administration of the Parkes Library.

Administrative / Biographical History

Reverend James William Parkes (1896-1981) was the son of Henry Parkes and Annie Katherine Bell. He was educated at Elizabeth College, Guernsey, and Hertford College, Oxford, on an open classical scholarship between 1919 and 1923. In 1916, Parkes enlisted as a private in the Artists Rifles. He became a second lieutenant in the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment in 1917 and captain and adjutant of the Nineteenth Queen's in 1918. He was ordained a deacon in 1923 and a priest in 1926. Parkes graduated with a BA in theology in 1923. He received his MA in 1926 and his D.Phil. in 1934. He was the International Study Secretary of the Student Christian Movement, 1923-6; Warden, Student Movement House, London, 1926-8; Study Secretary of the International Student Service, Geneva, 1928-34; Chairman of the National Committee Common Wealth, 1942-3, and Vice President, 1943; Charles William Eliot lecturer at the Jewish Institute of Religion, New York, 1946-7; President of the Jewish Historical Society of England, 1949-51; and Director of the Parkes Library, 1956-1964. In 1970, Dr Parkes was made an Honorary Fellow of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dr Parkes dedicated the greater part of his life to combating anti-Semitism, which he first encountered in European universities while working for the International Student Service. His University of Oxford D.Phil. thesis, published as The conflict of the church and the synagogue: a study in the origins of antisemitism (London, 1934), established him as a specialist in the fields of Jewish- Christian relations and the history of anti-Semitism. He wrote extensively on Judaism, Christianity and anti-Semitism, both under his own name and under the pseudonym of John Hadham.

Access Information

The Special Collections Division is available for anyone to use, regardless of whether you are attached to an academic institution. Access to the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books reading room, however, is by prior appointment to access the manuscript material. See our website for more details.

Other Finding Aids

The papers are listed in detail in K.Robson MS60 Papers of Revd Dr James William Parkes(1896-1981) 1874, c.1903- 81 University of Southampton Library, Archive Lists, Catalogues and Guides Series: 5, Southampton 1997


Dr Parkes' published works are listed in A bibliography of the printed works of James Parkes with selected quotations ed. S.Sugarman, D.Bailey and D.A.Pennie (Southampton, 1977). His views and biography are discussed in R.A.Everett, 'James Parkes: historian and theologian of Jewish-Christian relations' (Univ. of Columbia D.Phil. thesis, 1983); Robert Andrew, Christianity without antisemitism: James Parkes and the Jewish-Christian encounter, Oxford, 1993; M.C.Fierman Revd Dr James Parkes (California State University, Fullerton, Department of Religius Studies, seminar paper series, 13; 1976); A.Razzouk The partisan views of Revd James Parkes (Beirut, 1970).