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Archive of Anne Ridler and Vivian Ridler


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The archive comprises literary and printing working papers of Anne and Vivian Ridler, together with diaries and journals and their working, personal and family correspondence.


  • Creation: Creation: 1836-2011, n.d.
  • Creation: Creation: Majority of material found within 1927 - 2011


5.596 Linear metres (81 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Italian
  • French
  • German

Conditions Governing Access

Some material is closed.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 6372/1].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 6372/1-81

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6372 6731 6709 6753 9732


Correspondence and papers of the poet and writer Anne Ridler (1912-2001) and her husband Vivian Ridler (1913-2009), printer to the Oxford University Press and founder of Perpetua Press.

Biographical / Historical

Anne Barbara Ridler OBE (née Bradby) (30 Jul 1912–15 Oct 2001), the daughter of Rugby School housemaster Henry Bradby and childrens' author Violet Bradby, was an English poet whose first job was as a secretary for T.S. Eliot, as director at the publisher Faber and Faber. Early in life she met the poet, novelist and theological writer Charles Williams, a member of Oxford's Inklings (along with J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) and she maintained a close friendship with Williams until his death in 1945. Anne Ridler married the printer Vivian Ridler in 1938 and raised a family while also publishing ten volumes of her poetry and several verse plays. Later in life she translated libretti for opera companies including the English National Opera. A practicing Anglican all her life, she had a particular interest in Christian poetry and wrote and lectured on poetry and poets including William Shakespeare, Thomas Traherne and T.S. Eliot. Her Collected Poems were published in 1994. She was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1998 and was awarded the Cholmondeley Award for poetry. In 2001 she was appointed OBE for services to literature.

Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Vivian Hughes Ridler CBE (2 Oct 1913-13 Jan 2009) was a printer and typographer who founded a private press while still in school. In 1931 he apprenticed to a printing firm in Bristol. In 1936 he took a job as assistant to the Printer of the University of Oxford, John Johnson. In 1938 he married the poet Anne Bradby, who was the niece of Sir Humphrey Milford, the London publisher for Oxford University Press (OUP). During World War II, Vivian Ridler served with the Royal Air Force as an intelligence officer. After he was demobilised in 1947 he became a lecturer in typography and a freelance designer. In 1948 he returned to the OUP and from 1958 until he retired in 1978 he held the post of Printer to the University of Oxford at OUP and from 1968-1969 was president of the British Federation of Master Printers. With his own Perpetua Press he published around thirty books during his retirement.

Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequeathed by Anne and Vivian Ridler and donated 2009-2014.

Related Materials

See also MS. 12264, a Perpetua Press album of jobbing printing.

Catalogue of the archive of Anne Ridler and Vivian Ridler
Charlotte McKillop-Mash
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom