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Papers of Thomas Braun, 1935-2010


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Thomas Braun's private correspondence, personal papers, and papers relating to his academic career, complemented with a collection of his academic and 'occasional' writings.

Comprises of material Christopher Braun selected of his brother's papers, with the purpose of illustrating aspects Thomas Braun's biography, personality and academic career, whilst reducing the vast amount of papers - private and academic - present at Thomas Braun's house in Oxford at the time of his death in 2008 to a manageable amount and eventually donating them to the Bodleian Library as part of the Braun Family Archive.

Christopher Braun disposed of a great deal of ephemeral material, academic papers that were readily available elsewhere and trivial correspondence, whilst most legal and financial papers became part of the Thomas Braun estate papers, which are retained by the Braun Family.


  • Creation: 1935-2010

Language of Materials

  • English

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Felix Rudolf Gerhard Braun was born August 30, 1935, in Berlin, the elder son of Konrad and Hildburg Braun. In 1938, the family emigrated from Nazi Germany to England. After attending Lickey Hills School near Birmingham 1943-1947, Thomas Braun went to Bootham School, the Quaker boarding school in York, 1947-1952. Before going to university, Thomas Braun did his National Service. As a conscientious objector, he spent two years with the Friends' Ambulance Unit FAU working for the Oxfam Committee for Famine Relief (later Oxfam), in Cephalonia, Greece, and at a hospital in Woolwich. With a Noble scholarship to Balliol College, he started studying classics in Oxford 1955, and after taking a double first in 1959, moved on to Merton College for three years of postgraduate study, 1959-1962. After a year as an assistant lecturer at Leicester University, he was appointed Fellow and tutor in ancient history at Merton College in 1963 and returned to Oxford, his spiritual home. Thomas Braun also served as Dean of Merton College from 1974 to 2002. He was appointed to a senior research fellowship in 1999 and retired in 2002, being elected an emeritus fellow. After being involved in a major road accident on August 22, 2008, Thomas Braun died from his injuries in hospital on September 24, 2008, aged 73. In his academic work as a classicist, he was particularly interested in the history of classical Greece, the historian Herodotus, ancient geography and ancient food. But his interests were universal, he travelled widely and his knowledge of world history and culture was profound. He was a gifted linguist and fascinated by the history of his own family. Other concerns included the preservation of cultural heritage in Oxford and beyond, and the encouragement of learning in Eastern Europe before and after the collapse of communism. He was known for his wit, sparkling in his humorous poems and other 'occasional' writings.

Related Materials

In the course of clearing Thomas Braun's house, his family sold most of his extensive library, donated academic journals and offprints to academic institutions, including Nottingham University and the British School in Athens, and gave reference material and research papers to scholars, to the Ashmolean Museum and to the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom