University of Birmingham Staff Papers: Papers of Kenneth William Humphreys

Scope and Content

Correspondence, research materials, drafts and copies of publications relating to librarianship, his involvement in professional and scholarly organisations and to his research interests including palaeography and medieval and Renaissance texts. It includes correspondence and papers, for example, relating to his involvement with the International Federation of Library Associations, the Panizzi lectures he delivered in 1987, and his work as a consultant.

Administrative / Biographical History

Kenneth William Humphries, 1916-1995, B.Litt, MA, PhD, FLA; Librarian, European University Institute, Florence, 1975-1981; educated at Southfield School, Oxford and St Catherine's College, Oxford. Library assistant, All Souls College, Oxford, 1933-1936; assistant at Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1936-1950; Deputy Librarian, Brotherton Library, University of Leeds, 1950-1952; Librarian, University of Birmingham, 1952-1975; Professor of library studies, Haifa University, 1982; honorary lecturer in palaeography, University of Leeds, 1950-1952; University of Birmingham, 1952-1975; Panizzi lecturer, Panizzi Trust, 1987; honorary secretary, Standing Conference of National and University Libraries, 1954-1969, Vice-Chairman, 1969-1971, Chairman, 1971-1973; member of the Library Advancement Council for England, 1966-1971; member of Council, Library Association, Chairman, 1973; Chairman of the Executive Committee, West Midlands Regional Library Bureau, 1963-1975; Chairman of the Joint Standing Conference and Committee on Library Cooperation, 1965-1975; National Committee on Regional Library Cooperation, 1970-1975; member of the Comite International de Palaeographie, and Colloque International de Palaeographie, 1955-1994; President: National and University Libraries Section, International Federation of Library Associations, 1968-1970, President of the University Libraries Sub-Section, 1967-1973; Ligue des Bibliotheques Europeennes des Recherche, 1974-1980; Round Table on Library History, 1978-1982; member of Committee, British Academy Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 1983-1995 (secretary 1983-1994); Editor, Studies in the History of Libraries and Librarianship; Joint editor, Series of Reproductions of Medieval and Renaissance Texts; Honorary DLitt Dublin (Trinity College), 1967; Honorary FLA, 1980; Socio d'onore, Italian Library Association, 1982.

Publications: The Book Provisions of the Medieval Friars , 1964; The Medieval Library of the Carmelites at Florence , 1964; The Library of the Franciscans of the Convent of St Antony, Padua at the Beginning of the Fifteenth Century , 1966; The Library of the Franciscans of Siena in the Fifteenth Century , 1977; A National Library in Theory and Practice , 1988; The Friars (Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues , 1990; articles in library periodicals.

Reference: Who's Who 1995 ( London, 1995 ).

For further reading about the University of Birmingham see: Eric Ives, Diane Drummond, Leonard Schwarz The First Civic University: Birmingham 1880-1980 An Introductory History ( The University of University of Birmingham Press. 2000 ).

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in

Other Finding Aids

See full catalogue for more information.

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.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

University of Birmingham Information Services, Special Collections Department also holds a small collection of papers relating to Humphreys': the Medieval and Modern Manuscripts: Humphreys Bequest Collection (GB 150 KWH).

University of Birmingham Information Services, Special Collections Department also holds the archives of the University of Birmingham and archives of other former staff, officials and students.