Evan Jones Archive
The archive consists of subject files of correspondence and papers relating to Evan Jones' work, literary papers including screenplays, books, and miscellaneous printed material.
- Creation: 1949-2011, n.d.
8.5 Linear metres (43 shelfmarks)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Material of a sensitive personal nature is closed, along with currently inaccessible audio-visual material.
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, MS. Evan Jones 1.
Full range of shelfmarks:
MSS. Evan Jones 1-43
Collection ID (for staff)
CMD ID 9686
Papers of the writer Evan Jones.
Biographical / Historical
Evan Jones was born in Portland, Jamaica, in December 1927 and educated at Munro College, St Elizabeth, Jamaica, and then Haverford College, a Quaker establishment in Pennsylvania. He read English at Wadham College, Oxford, where he wrote ‘The Song of the Banana Man’, combining Jamaican patois with standard English rhythm. The poem was broadcast on the BBC World Service in 1952 and became an established part of the school curriculum in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean.
Jones spent most of his adult life in Britain, writing for theatre, television and film as well as biography, novels, children’s books and poetry. His work included commercial success and a campaigning element, addressing social and political issues. The television series ‘The Widows of Jaffa’ (1957) was based on his time working in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip and launched his career as a screenwriter, during which he wrote comedy, war films, thrillers and science fiction. In 1975 Jones introduced his own drama-documentary series on the BBC, ‘The Fight Against Slavery’, which won the Martin Luther King Award. His semi-autobiographical novel, Stone Haven, was published in 1993 by the Institute of Jamaica Publications and took its title from the family home in Portland.
Evan Jones died in 2023.
As no overall filing system was in place, the archive has been arranged into five series of subject files, literary papers, audio visual material, books and miscellaneous printed material. The arrangement within each series is chronological.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Bought, Bertram Rota Ltd., 18 Jul 2014.
- Catalogue of the Evan Jones Archive, 1949-2011
- Finding aid prepared by Emily Chen and Harriet Costelloe
- Language of description
- Script of description