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Archive of (Arthur) Owen Barfield


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The papers include appointment diaries, extensive correspondence with friends, colleagues and students, correspondence with his publishers, literary manuscripts, working notes, family photographs, and publications. There are also some papers of close family members and friends.


  • Creation: 1900-1997


33.22 Linear metres (302 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Conditions Governing Access

The permission of the depositor must be sought for access to the collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission must be sought from the depositor before copying or publication.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. Dep. d. 926, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

Dep. c. 1054-1271, Dep. d. 926-969, Dep. e. 539-578

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6331, 6333, 6334, 6335, 9675


Correspondence, personal papers and literary papers of Owen Barfield (1898-1997), writer and philosopher.

Biographical / Historical

Owen Barfield aspired to be a writer and poet from an early age but it was not until he retired from his career as a solicitor in 1959, that he was able to devote sufficient time and energy to his writing. Consequently most of his published work dates from the later part of his life, when his philosophical and literary output expanded and he found himself in demand in American universities as a lecturer on philosophy. He was a lifelong friend of C.S. Lewis, whom he met in his first term at Oxford in 1919. They were founder members of the Inklings, an informal literary group which also included J.R.R. Tolkien and later, Charles Williams. Unlike C.S. Lewis, he was an Anthroposophist, and the correspondence in particular reflects the large part that this philosophy played in his life. For further details see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


Most series are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by Walter Hooper, 20 Dec. 2001, on behalf of Owen A. Barfield; Helen Forshaw, June 2007 and 4 Apr. 2008, on behalf of Owen A. Barfield; Owen A. Barfield, 17 July 2008 and 29 June 2009.

Catalogue of the archive of (Arthur) Owen Barfield
Finding aid prepared by C. Parker
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom