Papers of T.D.N. Besterman

Scope and Content

Papers of T.D.N. Besterman, comprising:

  • personal correspondence, 1924-70, especially letters from Sir James and Lady Frazer, 1926-36 (204 items), letters from John Johnson, printer to the University of Oxford, 1929-41 (143 items), and letters from Nancy Mitford, 1956-75 (115 items)
  • academic correspondence up to 1975 (c. 1600 items)
  • papers relating to Besterman's talks
  • papers concerning Besterman's Honorary Degree from Oxford
  • 17 biographical accounts of T.D.N. Besterman (only to be issued with the permission of the Librarian).

Administrative / Biographical History

Theodore Deodatus Nathaniel Besterman (1904-76) was a psychical researcher, bibliographer and benefactor to the university. He funded the establishment of the Voltaire Foundation in 1955, and the Voltaire Room of the Taylor Institution in 1975. See the Dictionary of National Biography for further details.

Access Information

For admissions procedures please contact the library on

Acquisition Information

Presented to the Library by T.D.N. Besterman.


Collection level description created by Susan Thomas, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

The Library's card catalogue for manuscripts.

Related Material

Besterman also presented a considerable number of books to the Library.