Hemming, (Clifford) James (1909-2007)

Scope and Content

Papers of educationalist, writer and humanist (Clifford) James Hemming (1909-2007), including: curriculum vitae and obituary notices, 2007-2008; personal material, including texts of interviews, cartoons and poems/jottings, 1987-2008; miscellaneous articles, papers and published letters, 1951-1999; correspondence, 1962-2000; press cuttings and ephemera, 1945-1960; papers regarding involvement with the World Education Fellowship, 1969-2008; programme for the James Hemming Essay Prize, 2009; copy of Hemming's PhD, Some Problems of Adolescent Girls, 1957; photographs, 1977-2007.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Hemming was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, had a sporadic formal education, but he earned a BA through a correspondence course at Birkbeck College, London. He taught in schools in Bristol, Bournemouth and lastly at Isleworth grammar school, Middlesex. When the second world war broke out, he stayed at Isleworth and taught English and PE. He started a campaign to get the cane abolished in schools, bringing considerable odium from the educational establishment.His first book, The Child is Right - a Challenge to Parents and Other Adults (1947), was written in collaboration with Josephine Balls. Instead of God is subtitled A Pragmatic Reconsideration of Beliefs and Values; The Betrayal of Youth tackles the secondary educational system, warning against an overemphasis on academic values. He gave much time and energy to the British Humanist Association, serving as its President between 1977 and 1980. His other books included Problems of Adolescent Girls, Individual Morality, Sex Education in Schools, Sex and Love, and You and Your Adolescent.Hemming appeared as a defence witness in the Penguin Books obscenity trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover in 1960 and was a regular panel member on the 1970s BBC programme If You Think You've Got Problems. During the 1980s and 90s, he was a humanist representative on the Religious Education Council of England and Wales, an honorary associate of the Rationalist Association and a vice-president of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association.


No further arrangement required.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited with Bishopsgate Institute by Anne Almond, 21 December 2009.

Other Finding Aids

Adlib catalogue and copy of handlist available in researcher's area.

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Grace Biggins.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying and digital photography (without flash) is permitted for research purposes on completion of the Library's Copyright Declaration form and with respect to current UK copyright law.