Papers of Margaret Cole, 1893-1980

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 41 boxes, arranged in eight main sections with one additional section for supplemental material. The arrangement of the Margaret Cole paper's reflects the different sides to her life, one of which was her work for the Man-Power Survey in 1940. At the end of the main collection is a supplement collection of material which was donated to the Library later and contains mainly correspondence between Margaret and her children from 1939 onwards.

Administrative / Biographical History

Margaret Isabel Postgate was born in Cambridge on 6 May 1893 and died in Goring-on-Thames on 7 May 1980. She married the socialist writer, activist and teacher G.D.H. Cole in August 1918 and their marriage lasted until his death in 1959. Margaret Cole was an important and distinguished figure in her own right. She was a prolific writer and her works encompassed biography, labour history and (with her husband) detective fiction. In addition, she was an influential figure in education and she was a prominent Fabian for over half a century. (Source: Oxford DNB)


By sections as follows: A. Publications, with some unpublished matter, B. Personal, biographical, C. Correspondence, D. Educational work, E. Labour history, F. Fabian Society, G. Beatrice and Sidney Webb, H. Notes and miscellanea, J. Postgate family papers.

Access Information

By prior appointment only. Application in writing (letter or email) to the Assistant Librarian (Archives). See Nuffield College Archives location page for more details.

Other Finding Aids

The handlist for the M. Cole collection can be found [online] Link:

Custodial History

The papers of Margaret Cole were deposited in Nuffield College Library by her son Humphrey Cole.