Papers of Rev. Dr Alan Richardson (1905-1975), theologian, 1935-1975

Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection consists of notes, drafts, printed items, and correspondence relatingto Rev. Dr. Alan Richardson's theological writings, lectures, sermons and radio broadcasts. The onlypersonal papers in the collection are letters sent to Richardson in response to his writings andbroadcasts and following his appointment as Dean of York in 1965. The collection comprises:

  • Note books containing notes for lectures, sermons and research. 1935-1970 (PAR 1);
  • Notes of lectures and sermons given by Richardson at churches and colleges; identified locations include York Minster and international venues. 1941-1975 (PAR 2);
  • Typescript and manuscript articles and other theological writings by Richardson. 1957-1974 (PAR 3);
  • Printed proofs and published versions of writings by Richardson. 1935-1974 (PAR 4);
  • Files relating to broadcasts by Richardson, including related correspondence and transcripts of broadcasts. 1941-1967 (PAR 5);
  • Reviews of Richardson's published works and broadcasts. 1935-1975 (PAR 6);
  • Correspondence subject files. 1941-1973 (PAR 7);
  • Personal material, including photograph of Richardson (c.1965) and posthumous tribute by D.A.Stackpoole, together with printed report of the Israel-Jordan Expedition made by the University ofNottingham's Department of Theology, 1964 (PAR 8-10).

Administrative / Biographical History

Alan Richardson was born in Wigan, Lancashire in 1905 and educated at the University ofLiverpool, where he graduated in Philosophy in 1927. He studied at Exeter College, Oxford for adoctorate in divinity before moving to Cambo, Northumberland as vicar. He was a canon of DurhamCathedral from 1938 until 1953.

His academic career at the University of Nottingham began in 1953, when he became Professor andhead of the Department of Christian Theology, a role he occupied until 1964. From 1962 to 1964 hewas also Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He left the University to take up the office of Dean of York,which he held until his death in 1975.

Richardson was active in the work of many organisations. He had a particular interest in thechallenge of making theological subjects accessible to a lay audience, and was active in givingpublic lectures, and media broadcasts. He played a significant role in the Student ChristianMovement and the World Council of Churches and travelled widely, visiting churches and givinglectures in every continent. He was made a Knight of the British Empire. He died in 1975.

Richardson published extensively, producing twenty-four books, contributing numerous articles andreviews to theological journals, and editing a number of works. His first book, 'Creeds in theMaking', was published by the Student Christian Movement in 1935. Other titles included 'TheRedemption of Modernism' (1935), 'History and the Kingdom of God' (1939), and 'The Political Christ'(1973). His publications included topics of scriptural exegesis, the New Testament, church history,and the meeting ground between science and Christian apologetics.


The collection has been divided by document type into nine series. Within these series, itemshave been arranged chronologically where possible.

Conditions Governing Access

ACCESS: Access is restricted pending full processing andrelease of catalogue; contact the Department for further advice.


Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to the University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by the University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts andSpecial Collections in August 2001.