Document ReferenceLa Ch
TitlePapers of the Chambers family, 1876-1989, in the D.H. Lawrence Collection
Extent3 boxes, 1 framed item, slides
AbstractThe group consists of papers collected by Professor J.D. Chambers and relating to D.H. Lawrence. It includes correspondence and photographs of the Chambers family, as well as original items owned by D.H. Lawrence. Also present are audio recordings, a radio script and short stories by Jessie Chambers and May Holbrook.
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers. Use of originals restricted for preservation reasons. Readers are, in most cases, expected to use surrogate copies.
Admin HistoryJonathan David Chambers (1898-1970) grew up at Haggs Farm, Underwood, near Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. D.H. Lawrence became friendly with the Chambers family as a boy, and particularly with Jessie Chambers (later Wood) who served as the prototype for 'Miriam' in his novel 'Sons and Lovers'. When Lawrence met Frieda Weekley and subsequently moved abroad, his close link with the family weakened, but a letter of 1928 to J.D. Chambers testifies to his continuing affection for Haggs Farm, the country around it, and the Chambers family.

J.D. Chambers became Professor of History at University College Nottingham and a figure of considerable influence in the study of the local history of Nottinghamshire. He played an important role in the steady development of interest in Lawrence at the University. In particular, he supported his colleague Professor Vivian de Sola Pinto in the 1950s in efforts to collect Lawrence material for the University of Nottingham Library.
Custodial HistoryThe papers of Professor Chambers came to the Library after his death in 1970. Those concerning his academic research into economic and local history (Ch) were separated from the present collection, which comprises material about the Chambers family and D.H. Lawrence. Further accruals from the Chambers family have extended the original holding.
DescriptionAlthough the Chambers papers are largely concerned with later research into the life of D.H. Lawrence and production of his works, they include several original Lawrence items. An algebra text book from his school days is annotated in his hand, and a pencil drawing of 'Child with an apple' is signed by him. Other early pieces include a copy of Jessie Chambers' short story 'The bankrupt', with revisions by Helen Corke. Several Corke letters are present, mainly post-1950 to David Chambers, and one letter from Aldous Huxley to Chambers in 1931.

Significant personal accounts of Lawrence survive in a 1970 script of the 1949 radio talk by W.E. Hopkin on his Eastwood memories of the young writer, and in a tape recording of the lecture on Lawrence which David Chambers gave on many occasions. T.V. rehearsal scripts for two 1960s adaptations of Lawrence works are also present. The collection also contains two series of photographic materials, one consisting of transparencies of local places associated with Lawrence (1950s), and the other containing Chambers family black and white photographs.

A later accrual contains papers of or relating to Muriel May Holbrook, a sister of David Chambers. These include a few letters, and a number of typescript and holograph short stories by Muriel Holbrook. The material complements that found within the Holbrook group in the Lawrence Collection (La H).

The collection includes copies acquired by Chambers of a series of letters from Jessie Chambers to Professor W. Lutoslawski, of which the originals are at the Humanities Research Centre, University of Texas.

A further accrual (La Ch 79-85) contains audio tapes, slides, copy photographs, and one original artwork by Jessie Chambers showing a seascape (La Ch 85).
MgtGroupLiterary and cultural records
MgtSubGroupD H Lawrence
ArrangementThe material is listed in a single numerical sequence, in which various series (correspondence, photographs etc.) are brought together. This arrangement is disturbed by later accruals, which continue the numerical sequence.
TermEnglish literature - 20th century - History and criticism
FindingAidsCopyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham. In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: Typescript Catalogue, 4 pp At the National Register of Archives, The National Archives, Kew: Typescript Catalogue, 4 pp Online: Catalogue available through the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue. This electronic catalogue supersedes, and is more detailed than the typescript catalogues, and users are advised to refer to the online catalogue in preference to the printed versions.
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialAcademic Papers of Jonathan D. Chambers (1898-1970), Professor of Economic and Social History, University of Nottingham (Ch)
Papers of Haggs Farm Preservation Society; 1985-2000s (MS 928)
Related RecordCh

Click the links below to view related name indexes

Click the links below to view related place indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA174Chambers; Jonathan David (1898-1970); Professor; Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Nottingham1898-1970
NA42Lawrence; D.H. (1885-1930); David Herbert; writer1885-1930
NA174Chambers; Jonathan David (1898-1970); Professor; Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Nottingham1898-1970
NA367Chambers; Jessie (1887-1944); childhood friend of D.H. Lawrence; known as 'Muriel'; married John R. Wood 19151887-1944
NA377Holbrook; Muriel May (1883-1955); Mrs; née Chambers1883-1955
NA257Corke; Helen (1882-1978); teacher at Croydon1882-1978
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