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Archive of the Tilling Society (E.F. Benson and the Benson Family)


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The papers of the Tilling Society were collected from 1982 and span from the early-nineteenth century to 2009. The archive consists of correspondence, stories and articles by the author Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940), as well as secondary material relating to his and his family's life and work, and ephemera, photographs and audio-visual material relating to the theatrical, televised and radio productions of his stories. It also contains administrative documentation for the Society, including correspondence, circulars and photographs.


  • Creation: c.1800-2009


4.0 Linear metres (24 physical shelfmarks; 5 digital shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 8332].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. c. 8332-8350; MSS. Photogr. c. 559-563; MSS. Digital 62-66

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6840


Papers of the Tilling Society (1982-2006), a group set up to celebrate the life and works of the author Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940).

Biographical / Historical

The Tilling Society was formed by Fay Hodges in 1982. It was taken over by Cynthia and Tony Reavell in 1983 who ran the group until it ceased to function in 2006. The Society collected material on the author Edward Frederic Benson's (1867-1940) life and works. It also circulated newsletters containing information on E.F. Benson and the Society, and held annual events for members.


The arrangement of the papers maintains the file order and groupings given by Cynthia and Tony Reavell. No overall filing system was in place, and so the papers have been arranged into eight series: Correspondence, Literary Papers, The Benson Family, Places and Locations relating to E.F. Benson, Tilling Society Events, Printed Material, Artwork and Photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Papers were given to the Bodleian Library by Cynthia and Tony Reavell in 2012 and 2014.

Related Materials

Catalogue of the papers of the Benson family, 18th-20th century (MSS. Benson 1/1-3/78; Benson adds. 1-22).

Catalogue of the archive of the Tilling Society (1982-2006)
Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 8332-8350; MSS. Photogr. c. 559-563; MSS. Digital 62-66
Finding aid prepared by Harriet Costelloe
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom