Cammaerts, Professor Emile

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, books and personal papers relating to Emile Cammaerts, geographer, playwright and Professor of Belgian Studies and Institutions in the University of London. The papers fully document Cammaert's activities. They relate to Belgian and British affairs (art, literature, theatre, politics, the Press, religion and the two world wars).

Administrative / Biographical History

Emile Cammaerts was born in Brussels in 1876 (he was baptised Emile Pieter at the age of 34). He received education at the University of Brussels and later at the revolutionary Université Nouvelle where he was a student of geography.

Cammaerts held the post of Professor of Belgian Studies and Institutions in the University of London, 1931-47, and became Professor Emeritus after his retirement from the university in 1947. He also received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Glasgow and a CBE. He was a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

During his life, Emile Cammaerts was a cartographer, geographer, journalist, poet, playwright, historian, art critic and devoted Anglican. He was Belgian by nationality, and deeply immersed in Belgian politics and culture, but after his marriage he spent his life in England, at Radlett, Hertfordshire, from where he commuted to his office in London. He was naturally concerned with Anglo-Belgian relations and with the Anglo-Belgian Union.


The papers are divided into the following sections: Part 1: Personal (chiefly family) papers and correspondence, 1897-1967; Part II: Belgian Politics and Affairs, 1906-53; Part III: Literary papers and correspondence, 1906-1953; Part IV: University of London, 1931-1951; Part V: Religion, 1927-1953; Part VI: Booklets on various subjects (mostly religion, some contributed to by Emile Cammaerts); Part VII: posthumous papers; Part IX: Printed books; Part X: Miscellaneous.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to individual items in Senate House Library archives collections may be restricted under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act. See Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Deposited in 1969 on permanent loan by Mrs Joan Lindley, daughter of Professor Cammaerts. Copyright transferred to Senate House Library; ownership remains with the family.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue has been produced, which is accessible from the University of London Research Library Services on-line archives catalogue,, and is also available in the Palaeography Room of Senate House Library.

Archivist's Note

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names