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Personal papers of, and relating to, Robert Castle, Organiser, Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, 1945-2010

MS. Oxfam DON/1/2

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Folder 1: correspondence and related papers of Robert Castle, including publicity materials, news sheets and newspaper cuttings relating to his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, 1945-1964. A few items relate to his work for the Friends Relief Service in Salisbury in 1945.

Folder 2: Friends Relief Newsletters and other Friends' materials, 1945-1950

Folder 3: scrapbook kept by Robert Castle, including newspaper cuttings detailing his career with Rowntree's and materials relating to his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, 1946-1947

Folder 4: three photographs of Robert Castle with Frederick Thurston, Dick Jepson Turner and other participants in a 1947 fundraising concert at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, probably in aid of the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief; photograph of Robert Castle and an unidentified man, n.d. [c. late 1940s]; two photographs of David Hoggett, a carpenter who had been working in Linz, Austria, in hospital following an accident, 1956. The connection of the latter with Robert Castle is unknown.

Folder 5: comprising:
  1. photocopies and transcripts of notes made by Robert Castle in his copies of two books: The Oxfam Story by The Pergamon Press, 1964, and Two ears of corn - Oxfam in action by Mervyn Jones, 1965, transcribed by his daughter Jean MacFarlane, 1965-2007 and n.d. [c.1964-2007]
  2. timeline of notes about Robert Castle's life and career by Jean MacFarlane, apparently written following a meeting with Rosie Dodd, Oxfam Archivist, 2007
  3. Jean MacFarlane's correspondence with Rosie Dodd, mainly about her time in Lagos, Nigeria, with her brother Stephen, and their support to Oxfam during the Nigerian Civil War, 2007-2010


  • 1945-2010


1 box (5 folders)


MS. Oxfam DON/1/2

Biographical / Historical

Robert Castle was the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief's first paid employee, leaving employment at Rowntree's to work as a part-time Organiser for the Committee between 1946 and 1948. Among other achievements, he was responsible for opening the Committee's first Gift Shop on Broad Street, Oxford, in February 1948, and coined the shortened form of the organization's name, 'Oxfam'.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom