Autograph collection of Reginald Hunt

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 192 HNT
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      845 items

Scope and Content

The collection consists of signed postcards, original letters and framed items collected by Reginald Hunt, a member of a Yorkshire brewing family. Items relate to an array of personalities of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including European politicians, military leaders, European composers, European and American actors and actresses and sports personalities.

Administrative / Biographical History

Reginald Hunt was born on 18 May 1894, the son of the late J H Hunt of Aldwark, York. He was one of three children alongside his sisters Violet and Mrs Robinson.

Hunt succeeded his cousin Sir John Joseph Hunt as head of the of the firm of J J Hunt Ltd, York Brewers, and of Scarborough and Whitby Breweries Ltd, in 1933.

In his spare time, Hunt was a member of at least eighteen clubs and associations, as well as a governor of the York Merchant Adventurers Company. He helped to found the York Hospital Supporters Club, and was a member of the House Committee and a governor of the hospital.

Hunt was also a keen collector of autographs, and gifted part of his collection to York Reference Library in 1938. At its height his collection consisted of over 12,000 items. He procured the items in a number of ways - usually he sent a photograph to the celebrity for them to sign, however when Jacob Epstein refused Hunt got the signature the following day from a delivery book in a van outside Epstein's house. When Hunt asked Italian leader Mussolini for his signature, the Duce actually wrote to the Chief Constable of York asking whether he was a fit and proper person to have his signature.

Reginald Hunt died on 29 April 1941, aged 46.

Access Information

Material is available subject to the usual terms and conditions of access to Archives and Local History collections.

Other Finding Aids

More detailed finding aids for this collection can be found online by searching the Explore website (

Archivist's Note

Created by Laura Yeoman, Archives and Local History Public Services Manager, June 2015.

Conditions Governing Use

Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.