Papers of Sir Fred Clarke (1880-1952)

Scope and Content

Papers of Sir Fred Clarke, including published and unpublished papers, including articles, addresses, lectures and speeches, 1920s-1951, including some papers written for the discussion group, The Moot; papers relating to his work in South Africa, 1914-1931, and Canada, 1929-1935; family correspondence, 1914-1931 and 1949; correspondence with others, 1920s-1950s, including Sir John Adams, Sir Percy Nunn, Lord Eustace Percy, John Dove; papers relating to broadcasting work, 1931-1944; numbered subject files, on topics including Karl Mannheim, the English educational system, adult education, the Conference on Church, Community and State (i) 1935 & 1936, curriculum, comparative education, vocational education, the Education Act 1944 and teacher training; proofs of books and articles, including 'Education and social change' and 'Essays in the politics of education'; scrapbooks about Clarke's career compiled by his wife, Edith; papers created following his death, including letters of condolence, biographical information, publishers and work on his archive papers. Also contains photographs, of Clarke, some of his students and colleagues, and family members.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Fred Clarke (1880-1952) was an eminent educationist. Having qualified as a teacher and gained a degree in History from Oxford University, Clarke held a number of posts in teacher education and university departments in Britain and abroad, including as Senior Master of Method at York Diocesan Training College, 1903-1906; Professor of Education at Hartley University College, Southampton, 1906-1911; Professor of Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1911-1918, Dean of Faculty of Education 1918-1929; Professor of Education, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1929-1935. In 1935, Clarke was appointed as Adviser to Overseas Students at the Institute of Education, University of London and in October 1936 he became Director of the Institute, a position which he held until his retirement in 1945. Clarke also served on numerous committees, including for the British Council and Colonial Office and was influential in the establishment of the National Foundation for Educational Research and the McNair Committee. After his retirement he remained connected with the Institute, becoming once again Adviser to Overseas Students and also undertook other advisory roles, notably for the National Union of Teachers. Sir Fred Clarke was an influential figure in the development of teacher education, colonial and comparative education and he also promoted the application of sociology to educational theory.

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form. Some personal information is closed.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Custodial History

The collection was transferred to the IOE archive from Claudia Clarke.

Related Material

Clarke's set of the papers of The Moot are also held (DC/MOO). There are also some papers relating to Clarke within the Records of the Institute, found at IE/FC.


Frank W. Mitchell, 'Sir Fred Clarke: Master-Teacher 1880-1952' (London: Longmans, 1967). Available to request from the IOE Library Store, reference SA929.

Corporate Names