Personal Papers of Helen McMorran

Scope and Content

The papers comprise material arising from Helen McMorran's activities in her various College offices, as well as correspondence, collections of poems, of cuttings and offprints, and of play and concert programmes.

Administrative / Biographical History

Helen McMorran was born in India, the daughter of an East India merchant but she and her three sisters (also Girtonians) grew up in the family home, Frithwood House, outside London. She was educated at Sutton High School and came to Girton to read Modern Languages 1916-19. She trained as a librarian at University College, London 1919-20 and was Assistant Librarian at Bedford College, London 1921-28. She then travelled for a year in India before coming back to Girton as a Fellow and Librarian in 1930. Shortly afterwards she supervised the move to a new College library, the anonymous gift of her father, Thomas McMorran(an extension was added in the sixties through the generosity of HM herself). Her professional standards were legendary throughout College, not just as Librarian (1930-62) but as editor of the 'Girton Review' (1932-63) and editor (with K T Butler) of the 'Girton College Register' (1948). In addition she was Vice-Mistress 1946-62 and Registrar of the Roll 1947-69. She was described by her obituarist, Muriel Bradbrook, as both austere and a connoisseur of excellence, combining great dignity with great modesty, 'the Girton she knew is now part of history'. On her retirement in 1962, she became a Life Fellow of the College until her death in 1985.

Conditions Governing Access

Please cite as Girton College Archive, Cambridge, Personal Papers of Helen McMorran, GCPP McMorran

Other Finding Aids

As at Sep 2008 an online catalogue was available at

Archivist's Note

Collection Description taken from JANUS in Sep 2008 as part of Genesis 2008 Project