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Archive of Robin George Collingwood


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Unless otherwise stated in the description, the manuscripts are Collingwood's own and written in his hand. Many are written on the reverse of students' Schools papers and essays. Collingwood appears to have stored old paper for years before using it, and sometimes used it several times. Where the reverse of folios contains items of interest it has been noted in the description.

The use of quotation marks in the description denotes that a title or descriptive phrase is one used by Collingwood himself in the manuscript. (Dep. Collingwood 1-28)


  • Creation: 1889-1943


2.9 Linear metres (29 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

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

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

Dep. Collingwood 1-29

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12236, 12237, 12238, 12239


Papers of Robin George Collingwood, (1889-1943), philosopher and historian.

Biographical / Historical

Robin George Collingwood (1889-1943) was a philosopher and historian. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.


When first deposited in the Library the papers had only been roughly sorted into subject groupings, and remained thus while awaiting proper cataloguing. During this period the papers have been studied and listed in a number of publications, most specifically in History as a Science: The Philosophy of R.G. Collingwood (1981) by W.J. Van Der Dussen, and R.G. Collingwood: A Bibliography (1988) by Donald S. Taylor. Since Taylor's work quotes Bodleian box numbers, re-sorting of the papers and transfer of items between boxes has been kept to a minimum, and where done has been clearly indicated. However, the arrangement of the papers by subject is now more consistent and, it is hoped, more clearly presented to readers. The subject divisions are in any case largely arbitrary, and some papers could as easily fall into one category as another, but they do at least provide some framework in which to describe the papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the papers of the philosopher R.G. Collingwood described in this catalogue was deposited in the Bodleian in March 1978 by Mrs. Teresa Smith on behalf of her mother, Mrs. K.F. Collingwood, Collingwood's second wife. The copies of Collingwood's letters to Samuel Alexander (Dep. Collingwood 26/1) were deposited in February 1979, while copies of those to Ruggiero (Dep. Collingwood 27) were deposited in March 1979. The photocopy of the manuscript of Libellus de Generatione (Dep. Collingwood 28) was deposited in 1990. The original manuscript is held by Mrs. Teresa Smith, now the legal owner of the papers.

Related Materials

See also Photocopies of R.G. Collingwood Papers (MSS. Facs. c. 141-149) and correspondence between R.G. Collingwood and Gilbert Ryle (MSS. Eng. lett. d. 194, d. 194*).

The Bodleian Library holds various papers relating to Collingwood in other collections.

Catalogue of the archive of Robin George Collingwood
Finding aid prepared by Ruth Burchnall
1994, EAD version 2018
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom