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Archive of A.N. Prior


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The archive comprises: Prior's academic correspondence with a few related papers, 1932-1970 [5 boxes]; Prior's published and unpublished writing, lecture notes and press cuttings, 1885-c.1893, 1933-1970 [12 boxes]; publications and drafts of work by other philosophers and logicians, c.1930-1970 [15 boxes]; miscellaneous printed material, c.1955-1968 [1 box] and Prior's typescript of 'The Craft of Formal Logic', 1951 [1 box].


  • Creation: 1885-1971


5.2 Linear metres (34 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • German

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 12189/1].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 12189/1-34

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12189


Academic correspondence and papers of Arthur Norman Prior (1914-1969), logician and philosopher.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur Norman Prior (1914-1969) was a logician and philosopher. He was born in Masterton, New Zealand and studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Otago, Dunedin between 1932-1937. He resumed his academic career teaching philosophy and logic at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch from 1946 to 1958, except for 1956 when he was visiting John Locke lecturer at the University of Oxford. In 1958, the family moved to England permanently when Prior accepted a newly created chair of philosophy at the University of Manchester. During this time at Manchester Prior took up visiting professorships in the USA and in New Zealand and was appointed Fellow of the British Academy in 1963. In 1966 Prior was elected Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford and appointed as a lecturer (later reader) at the University of Oxford, where he remained until his death in 1969. More details of Prior's life and work are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.


The original arrangement of the archive has been largely retained, however the initial archive of 22 boxes has been repackaged into 34 boxes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Prior's papers were deposited at the Bodleian Library by his widow, Mary Prior, between October 1969 and the summer of 1970. This was converted to a gift by Mary Prior in 2017.

Related Materials

The following related archives are held at the Bodleian Library: Papers of A.N. Prior and Mary Prior (MSS. 12558/1-13); Letters from A.N. Prior to David Raphael (MS. 15561).

Catalogue of the archive of A.N. Prior
Finding aid prepared by Carolyn Lewis
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom