Skip to main content

Archive of Maurice Brinsmead Latey, Chief Commentor, BBC External Services


  • How to

Correspondence and papers of Maurice Brinsmead Latey (1915-91), chief commentator, BBC External Services, 1972-5. Latey was a central figure in the BBC's external services from 1939 until his death in 1991, specialising in particular in broadcasting to Eastern Europe. Latey also wrote and lectured extensively and was especially interested in totalitarian regimes and the relationship between religion and politics. The collection includes BBC radio scripts, correspondence and papers relating to the BBC, Latey's notes and drafts for his books, articles and lectures and sketches and doodles.


  • Creation: 1931-1991, n.d.


19.69 Linear metres (179 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. MS. Eng. c. 6078, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. b. 2070; c. 6078-164; d. 2918-70; e. 3048-85; Janitor's list of Library portraits and objects, 735

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12168


Correspondence and papers of Maurice Brinsmead Latey (1915-1991), BBC External Services (chief commentator 1972-1975), 1931-1991.

Biographical / Historical

Maurice Brinsmead Latey was born in 1915. He attended New College, Oxford, gaining second class honours in Classical Moderations in 1935, and a first in Lt Hum in 1937. He joined the BBC in 1939, and was Head of the East European Service 1959-1969, and later the BBC's chief commentator, External Affairs 1972-1975. He remained associated with the BBC until his death in 1991. Latey was the author of Tyranny: A Study in the Abuse of Power, published in 1969.


The archive is arranged as follows: correspondence and papers relating to the BBC; publications; religious issues; lectures; and miscellaneous and personal. Where possible the original arrangement within the files has been retained.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given by Latey's widow, Barbara Latey, in 1994.

Archive of Maurice Brinsmead Latey, Chief Commentor, BBC External Services, 1931-91
Language of description
Script of description
Conversion to EAD supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom