G.V.M. Heap: letters to J.R.T. Pollard

Scope and Content

This small collection contains Hear's letters to his former student J.R.T. Pollard of University College, Bangor, 1961-1984, when he was resident in Wells and Bury St. Edmund's. The letters mainly relate to the study of classics.

Pollard has helpfully summarised the contents of the letters on the front of each accompanying envelope. The letters mainly relate to classical subjects and various classical-related publications, along with old books, publishers, and a biography of Jackson Knight.

Administrative / Biographical History

G.V.M. Heap attended Cambridge University where he read for a BA. In 1929, he joined the University College of the South West (later the University of Exeter) as a part-time assistant lecturer in Classics in 1929, later becoming Head of Department between 1941-1947, Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1940-1941, and finally Academic Secretary 1947-1950. He undertook war service between 1941-1944. He lived in Wells, Somerset, for a number of years in the 1960s and 1970s until a move to Bury St. Edmunds in 1977 in order to be closer to Cambridge. At one point, he is believed to have run a bookshop in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. He died in the mid-late 1980s.

John Richard Thornhill Pollard was born in 1914 and spent his early childhood in Herefordshire. He was educated at Hereford High School for Boys and the King's School, Ottery St. Mary, Devon. He attended the University College of the South West (later the University of Exeter) between 1932-1938, where he achieved a BA in Classics in 1936 and was taught by G.V.M. Heap. He gained an MA in Classics from the University of London. He was commissioned in the Devonshire Regiment in 1939 and served in the forces in Africa, returning to do an MLitt at Exeter College, Oxford University, after the war. He subsequently pursued an academic career, initially at St. Andrew's University (1948-1949), and then at the University College of North Wales (now known as the University of Wales, Bangor) as lecturer and senior lecturer in classics from 1949-1982 and 1987-1989. He is the author of numerous articles and books in classics, as well as an autobiographical work No County to Compare: Memories of a Herefordshire Childhood between the Wars (1994).


Arranged in chronological order by the donor of the collection. Several letters are contained within some single envelopes.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.


Biographical details for Pollard taken mainly from a collection-level description by Anne Lenagharn, University College of Bangor, 2001: J.R.T. Pollard Papers.

Other Finding Aids

Currently unlisted.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 10 December 2004, and encoded into EAD 3 June 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Acquired by the University Library in 2004 via a member of the Department of Classics, who apparently received the collection in 1987. Letters from Jackson Knight to Pollard were donated at the same time, and were accessioned by the Library in 1987 (EUL MS 89).

Related Material

Letters from Jackson Knight to Dr Pollard are contained within EUL MS 89. A collection of J.R.T. Pollard Papers is held at the University College of Bangor. No related units of description are known to be held elsewhere relating to Heap.


It is not known whether publication has resulted from use of this collection.