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Papers of Trevor Hearl relating to Saint Helena


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The papers comprise: Research files, Newspaper cuttings, Prints and drawings, Postcards and cards, Photographs, Negatives and Slides. The main series of papers are the Research files which have been arranged alphabetically by person, place or subject. They include correspondence, reports, articles and pamphlets.

Archival quality boxes are currently being made for the following series of material and so individual shelfmarks have not yet been assigned (this catalogue will be updated when the material has been boxed). These series are, however, fully open to researchers.

  1. Prints and drawings
  2. Postcards and cards
  3. Photographs
  4. Negatives
  5. Slides

The majority of the papers dated pre-1970 are copies (mainly photocopies).


  • Creation: 1589-2007


15.3 Linear metres (113 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Conditions Governing Access

Some material is closed.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Atlan. s. 23, Box 1, File 1, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Atlan. s. 23

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 5449


Papers collected by Trevor Hearl, teacher, writer and historian, relating to the political, economic and social history of Saint Helena.

Biographical / Historical

Trevor Hearl was one of the main authorities on the history of St. Helena. He amassed a vast collection of books and papers relating to the island which were received by the Bodleian Library following his death in 2007.

Hearl first visited St. Helena in 1969 as an education advisor when he was working as a lecturer at St. Paul's College, Cheltenham. This visit led to the formation of The Cheltenham-St. Helena Link, an organisation which linked the Cheltenham Colleges of St. Mary and St. Paul, and the University of Bristol School of Education, with the Education Department of St. Helena. The Link (which developed into The St. Helena Link) had been established at the request of the island's government to assist in its programme of teacher education and training.

Hearl's interest in St. Helena continued after his retirement from teaching and in 1990 he re-published, at his own expense, Philip Gosse's history of the island ( St. Helena, 1502-1938).

Trevor Hearl’s main writings have been published in St. Helena Britannica: Studies in South Atlantic Island History, edited by A. H. Schulenburg (London: Society of Friends of St. Helena: distributor Miles Apart, 2013).

These biographical notes have been taken from the Spring 2007 issue of The Wirebird (the journal of the Friends of St. Helena) which was dedicated to Hearl.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequeathed by Trevor Hearl, 2007.

Related Materials

An accompanying collection of books relating to St. Helena was also bequeathed to the library ('The Hearl Collection). These have been catalogued on SOLO.

Hearl also donated the following material to the library:

  1. MSS. Atlan. r. 2: Twenty-eight video cassettes concerning St. Helena (20 cassettes), Tristan da Cunha (7 cassettes) and Ascension Island (1 cassette, although the island is mentioned in some of the material on St. Helena). The tapes are a mixture of home recordings, amateur footage, news footage, documentaries, British Parliamentary debates concerning the islands, and other television recordings about the flora, fauna, history and inhabitants of the islands, 1955-1998.
  2. MSS. Atlan. t. 1: Material relating to the death of Napoleon Bonaparte on St. Helena, comprising: five pencil sketches of Bonaparte and Longwood House by Captain Guy Rotton, 1821, with an explanatory note by Hearl, one volume, Sainte-Hélène. Translation du cercueil de l'empereur Napoléon bord de la frégate La Belle-Poule... by Durand-Brager, 1844, with a photocopy of the text. 2 boxes.
Catalogue of papers of Trevor Hearl relating to Saint Helena, [1589]-2007
Finding aid prepared by Marion Lowman
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom