New to the Library: Papers of Neville Chamberlain

I’m pleased to let you know that the Library has recently purchased the Papers of Neville Chamberlain, an online resource containing political papers documenting Chamberlain’s policies as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister and highlighting his personal correspondence with his family.

You can access the Papers of Neville Chamberlain via the Databases A-Z list. This collection is made available to us via Archives Unbound from Gale Cengage.

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Neville_chamberlain1921For nearly three quarters of a century the Chamberlain family stood at the centre of affairs in Great Britain. Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940) perhaps remains the best known of the family due to his controversial policy of “appeasement” towards Hitler which he pursued as Prime Minister in an attempt to keep Europe from war.

Chamberlain’s letters and papers provide us with the means of appreciating his motives in attempting to reach an understanding with Hitler. The collection not only contains evidence of his thoughts and intentions behind his policies in the Second World War, but of the gratitude with which that attempt was initially greeted around the world.

Despite the notoriety of appeasement overshadowing his career, Chamberlain did have a successful career previous to this in both local and national government, including being Mayor of Birmingham, the first Minister of Health and helping towards Britain’s partial recovery from the Depression as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Included in his papers are extensive diaries, letters from constituents, drafts and final copies of a number of his political speeches and broadcasts, records of the business transacted in the succession of offices which he held, correspondence with colleagues such as Winston Churchill and much, much more including the papers of Mrs Neville Chamberlain following her husband’s death.

What perhaps gives the best insight into the man though are the family papers included in this collection, especially the extensive letters written between him and his wife and two sisters.

You can access the Papers of Neville Chamberlain via the Databases A-Z list or in the Databases by Subject pages (History, International Relations, Politics) or in DiscoverEd.

The Papers of Neville Chamberlain are made available to us via Archives Unbound from Gale Cengage. The Library subscribes to a range of other collections on this site which you may want to take a look at. To do so go to the Archives Unbound homepage and in the “Your collections” box click the the BROWSE>> link.

Access to Archives Unbound and the collections within are only available to current students and staff at University of Edinburgh.

Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for History, Classics and Archaeology

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