Papers of James Rendel Harris

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Personal correspondence of James Rendel Harris (1852-1941) biblical scholar, orientalist and archaeologist, including: correspondence between Harris and his wife, Helen Balkwill Harris, 1880-1912 and his mother, 1880s; diary, other letters and addresses of Helen Balkwill Harris; correspondence with Edmunds and Marriott; papers relating to his publications and research including typescripts and manuscripts of articles, lectures, publications etc and some correspondence and reviews relating to the  Legend of Ahikar, 1898 and  The Odes and Psalms of Solomon, 1910); scrapbooks; photographs of manuscripts.

Administrative / Biographical History

For full biographical information, see entry for James Rendel Harris (1852-1941) in  Who Was Who; FBA, 1927. James Rendel Harris held many academic posts from 1882 including Professor, Johns Hopkins University, 1882-5, Haverford College, 1885-92; lecturer in palaeography, Cambridge, 1893-1903; First Principal and Director of Studies at the Friends' Settlement for Social and Religious Study, Woodbrooke College (the first Selly Oak College), 1903-1918 and Curator of Eastern Manuscripts at the John Rylands Library, Manchester, 1918-1925. He was a prolific publisher of specialist studies and devotional writings. He also travelled extensively in the East in search of manuscripts (finding Syriac versions of  Apology of Aristides (1889) and  Odes of Solomon (1909)). He married Helen Balkwill of Plymouth in 1880, who died in 1914.

Reference: University of Birmingham, Online Archive Catalogue  (http://calmview.bham.ac.uk/).  Accessed April 2002.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Access to all bona fide researchers. All papers held at the Orchard Learning Resources Centre will be viewed at the Birmingham University Information Services, Special Collections Department. Please contact the University Archivist for further information.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to Selly Oak Colleges Library in 1976 by Rendel Harris's nephew and wife. It was transferred to the Orchard Learning Resources Centre which was opened in 1997 following the merger of the Selly Oak Colleges Library and the Westhill College Library. Subsequent additions were presented in 1995 and 1998 by the executors of the estate of the original donors.

Other Finding Aids

This collection is uncatalogued.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Custodial History

Following the merger of the Selly Oak Colleges and the University of Birmingham in 1999 the custodial ownership of collections belonging to the Selly Oak Colleges and held at the Orchard Learning and Resource Centre (OLRC) was transferred to the University. These collections now form part of the University's Special Collections Department and are available for consultation at the Main Library on the University's Edgbaston Campus.

Related Material

Other materials relating to Rendel Harris are held at: Woodbrooke College Library (1046 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham). Bodleian Library, Oxford University: correspondence with Gilbert Murray, 1908-1934; Methodist Archives and Research Centre, Manchester University: letters to J. H. Moulton; National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division: correspondence with publishers, 1930-1935.