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Diaries of Sir Michael Ernest Sadler


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These 'private' diaries of Sadler contain a mixture of intermittent journal entries on his daily activities, his family, politics, the Boer War, and longer passages on his reading, and his thoughts and doubts, on lectures given by him, and detailed accounts of meetings and discussions, mainly about educational policies, and on the Board of Education and his work there. The volume for 29 Jan.-2 Nov. 1900 is missing. In November 1901 he stopped writing the diary, being 'so much pressed' (MS. Eng. d. 3262, fol. 50), took it up again for two days (1-2 May 1902), and then left it until 1907, when he wrote a résumé covering 1902 to 1906.

Many papers loosely inserted in the volumes - including letters to Sadler, drafts of a few letters from him, newspaper cuttings, a few pieces of printed ephemera, and some substantial memoranda by him on education - have been removed to MSS. Eng. c. 7129-30.

The diaries may have been consulted by Lynda Grier, for her book on Sadler Achievement in education. The work of Michael Sadler 1885-1935 (London, 1952).


  • Creation: 1899-1902


0.85 Linear metres (11 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. d. 3616, fols. 1-2].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. c. 7129-7130, d. 3616-3622

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15751, 15760


Diaries of Sir Michael Ernest Sadler (1861-1943), 1899-1902.

Biographical / Historical

Sir Michael Ernest Sadler (1861-1943) was educated at Rugby and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1885 he was appointed secretary of the extension lectures sub-committee of the Oxford University Examinations Delegacy. During his tenure the quantity and scope of lectures increased enormously. In 1895 he was appointed director of the office of special inquiries and reports at the Board of Education, where he produced reports on educational policy and practice at home and abroad, and advised the government on the development of educational policy. In 1903 he accepted the post of lecturer in education at the University of Manchester. During this period he produced reports on secondary education needs for nine local education authorities. In 1911 he became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, remaining there until 1923 when he accepted the mastership of University College, Oxford. See Dictionary of National Biography.



Custodial History

All except MS. Eng. d. 3628 and MS. Eng. c. 7205, found in the attic of Richard Sadler, grandson of Sir Michael.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Given in 2003 with the exception of MS. Eng. d. 3628 and MS. Eng. c. 7205, which were given in 2005.

Related Materials

Descriptions of fifty-one commonplace books of Sadler, and of Sadler's papers, including diaries of 1932 to 1942, can be found in M. Clapinson and T.D. Rogers, Summary Catalogue of Post-Medieval Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Acquisitions 1916-1975 (Oxford, 1991), vol. I, nos. 38722-73 (commonplace books), and nos. 44179-216 (papers). See also lecture notes and diary entries, (1910-40, MS. Eng. d. 3530) in miscellaneous papers acquired singly; the catalogue of papers relating mainly to education, (MSS. Eng. hist. c. 1094, Eng. misc. c. 906); and the catalogue of copies of lectures and talks, correspondence and printed works, 1901-c.1961, (MSS. Eng. c. 7116-18). Letters from Sadler are scattered through many other collections in the Bodleian.

Catalogue of diaries of Sir Michael Sadler, 1899-1902
Finding aid prepared by Tim Rogers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom