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Archive of Douglas Jay


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The archive comprises:

  1. Personal and academic papers
  2. Correspondence
  3. Political papers
  4. Articles, speeches and books
  5. Photographs and miscellaneous items


  • Creation: Creation: 1842-2005
  • Creation: Creation: Majority of material found within c. 1907-2004


61.45 Linear metres (170 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Latin
  • Greek, Ancient (to 1453)
  • German
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Spanish; Castilian

Conditions Governing Access

Some material is closed.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 6745/1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 6745/1-170

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6745, 22139


Personal, political and literary papers of Douglas Jay, Baron Jay (1907-1996), politician

Biographical / Historical

Douglas Jay (1907-1996) was educated Winchester College and at New College Oxford, and was a Fellow of All Souls College Oxford from 1930 to 1937, and again from 168 until his death. On leaving Oxford he worked as an economic journalist, for the Times, the Economist and the Daily Herald. During the Second World War he worked as a civil servant for the Ministry of Supply and the Board of Trade, and from 1943 as personal assistant to Hugh Dalton. He became personal assistant to Clement Attlee following the Labour victory in the 1945 general election, and was elected MP for Battersea North in the July 1946 by-election, holding the seat until it was abolished in 1983. Over his political career he held positions including Economic Secretary to the Treasury (1947-1950), Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1950-1951) and President of the Board of Trade (1964-1967). He was created a life peer in 1987, with the title Baron Jay of Battersea in Greater London.

Jay was notable for his efforts to reconcile socialism with Keynsian economics, laid out in his 1937 book The Socialist Case. He was a staunch opponent of Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community, and voted no in the 1975 referendum.

Other books written by Jay include Who is to Pay for the War and the Peace? (1941), Socialism in the New Society (1962), After the Common Market (1968), Sterling: A Plea for Moderation (1985), and his autobiography Change and Fortune (1980).

Jay married twice, first to London County Councillor Peggy Jay (née Garnett) in 1933, with whom he had two sons and two daughters, and in 1972, to Mary Thomas. His eldest son, Peter Jay, is an economist, broadcaster and former diplomat.


The papers have been arranged into six series, which broadly reflect the order in which they were originally grouped.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the Bodleian Library by Mary Jay, and arrived in two accessions in January 2012 to October 2022.

Catalogue of the archive of Douglas Jay
Francesca Alves
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First edition

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom