C.T. Onions Letters

Scope and Content

Letters mainly written to Onions concerning philological matters.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Talbut Onions (1873-1965), lexicographer and philologist. Education: King Edward VI School, Camp Hill, Birmingham; Mason College, Birmingham BA (London) 1892, MA (London) 1895. Work: Worked for the Oxford English Dictionary from 1895 and was co editor for the period 1914-33. He was appointed as Lecturer in English at the University of Oxford, 1920-1927 and then Reader in English Philology, 1927-1949. He served as Honorary Director of the Early English Text Society from 1945 until 1957.

Awards, honours and offices: He was awarded various honorary degrees from Oxford (Hon MA, 1914 and Hon DLitt), Leeds (Hon. Litt.D) and Birmingham (Hon. LLD, 1930). He was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1928; and served as President of the Philological Society, 1929-1933.

Publications include: An Advanced English Syntax (1904 and five subsequent editions); editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, A Shakespeare Glossary (1911); the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1933); The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (1966); Shakespeare's England: An Account of the Life and Manners of His Age , Volumes 1 & 2 (edited with Sir Sidney Lee); The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles (1944)

Reference: Who was who Vol VI, 1961-1970 ( A&C Black ).


The letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was purchased in 1969.

Other Finding Aids

Please see the full catalogue for further details.

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Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


Further deposits are not expected.