The Papers of William Edward David Allen

Scope and Content

The Papers contain material related to some of Allen's Literary Activities and Publications.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Edward David Allen was born in London in 1901 and educated at Eton before travelling and working in journalism. He had a lifelong passion for the history of the Caucasus region and in particular the Georgian area. He travelled much in the area and had an extensive library on Russian and Caucasian affairs. With Sir Oliver Wardrop, he founded the Georgian Society in 1930.
The material in these Papers reflects his passion for the Caucasus and is concerned with his some of his literary endeavours and publications. He was known as Bill by his close friends and W.E.D. Allen in official correspondence and publication. This is seen within these Papers.
He had connections with Oswald Mosley's New Party and was a close friend of Mosley.


The papers were housed in labelled files on acquisition. On repackaging in archival quality packaging, the material was kept with others in its original nominated file and the labels were used to create the titles of each series. A further series was created to list research material, originally separated, relating to Allen's "A History of the Georgian People". Thus:

  • WA/1 - Literary Activities: Evliya Celebi
  • WA/2 - Literary Activities: Minorsky
  • WA/3 - Literary Activities: Gray and Georgian Genealogy
  • WA/4 - Literary Activities: Offprints
  • WA/5 - Russian Embassies: Armstrong
  • WA/6 - Russian Embassies: Higgens
  • WA/7 - Russian Embassies: Skelton
  • WA/8 - History of the Georgian People

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The Papers were brought to the Royal Asiatic Society by Robin Allen, son of W.E.D. Allen, on 23 July 1974, after the death of his father.

Archivist's Note

This material was arranged and catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, with volunteer help in 2017-2018.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

The Papers were the property of W.E.D. Allen until his death, when they were bequeathed to the Royal Asiatic Society. It is unknown if the material in WA/8 concerning Allen's "A History of the Georgian People" was donated at the same time or at an earlier date.

Related Material

Within the Library Collections are the following publications by W.E.D. Allen:

  • A history of the Georgian people : from the beginning down to the Russian conquest in the nineteenth century / by W. E. D. Allen ; introduction by Sir Denison Ross. (1932)
  • Georgica : a journal of Georgian and Caucasian studies. / Allen, W. E. D & Gugushvili, A (1935-1937)
  • Two Georgian maps of the first half of the eighteenth century / by W. E. D. Allen. (1953 [MCMLIII])
  • Caucasian battlefields : a history of the wars on the Turco-Caucasian border, 1828-1921 / by W. E. D. Allen and Paul Muratoff (1953)
  • Problems of Turkish power in the sixteenth century / by W.E.D. Allen. (1963)
  • Russian embassies to the Georgian kings (1589-1605) / edited with introduction, additional notes, commentaries and bibliography by W.E.D. Allen ; texts translated by Anthony Mango. (1970)

Geographical Names