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Further Research

Material on T. E. Lawrence is held throughout the University of Oxford.

The final page of this portal aims acts as a starting point for all those interested in using these unique collections. The list will be regularly updated as collections grow and continue to be catalogued.

All Souls College:

In 1919 Lawrence was elected to a seven-year Research Fellowship at All Souls. The College was founded in 1438 and is primarily an academic research institution and has no undergraduate members. Election as a Fellow provided Lawrence with an income while he worked on Seven Pillars of Wisdom. He had rooms in the College but spent most of his time elsewhere. His Fellowship of All Souls takes prominence on the headstone of his grave in Moreton, Dorset.

All Souls College has a collection of Lawrence memorabilia including the gold dagger he sold to Lionel Curtis for £125 to pay for repairs at Clouds Hill. It also holds a bronze bust of Lawrence sculpted (from memory) in 1946 by Lady Kathleen Scott, widow of Scott of the Antarctic, and presented to All Souls after her death.

[Text by the T.E. Lawrence Society, https://telsociety.org.uk]

Bodleian Library:

Lawrence was a regular user of the Bodleian Library during his undergraduate years. In 1923 he presented his major working manuscript of Seven Pillars of Wisdom (the so-called Oxford Text) to the library. The Bodleian holds a substantial collection of Lawrence letters including all those associated with his family; it is a primary source for any serious student of the life of T. E. Lawrence and access to the papers is given to any serious researcher.

[Text by the T.E. Lawrence Society, https://telsociety.org.uk]

Jesus College:

Lawrence’s sketch of the castle of Sahyun (Saône) from his undergraduate thesis. Jesus College MS 181, CC-BY.

Thomas Edward Lawrence matriculated at Jesus College in October 1907 with a Meyricke Exhibition (scholarship) and graduated with a first class degree in Modern History in July 1910. For a biographical overview of Lawrence’s time at Jesus, please visit https://www.jesus.ox.ac.uk/about-jesus-college/history/lawrence-of-arabia/

The examiners’ copy of his thesis on Crusader castles, formally entitled ‘The influence of the Crusades on European military architecture to the end of the XIIth century’, was presented to Jesus in 1939 by Lawrence’s mother and his elder brother M.R. Lawrence. The thesis has been digitised and is available on Digital Bodleian at https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/0ad3456c-a952-446c-917a-c996fc3dd111/

A number of letters between Lawrence and Robin Buxton, his friend and banker, were presented to the College in 1965 and are now held in the College Archives. These are catalogued at https://www.jesus.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/JCP195.pdf along with other material relating to Lawrence, including correspondence between the College and members of Lawrence’s family.

The Meyricke Library holds a collection of over 200 printed books by and about Lawrence, including Lawrence’s own copies of Travels in Arabia Deserta by Charles Doughty and Julius Caesar by John Buchan. These are catalogued on SOLO, the library catalogue for the University of Oxford, at https://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ The books are arranged in the order of Philip O’Brien’s bibliography and in many cases can be searched by the numbers he assigned, e.g. ‘O’Brien E187’. The collection continues to be developed and the Librarian welcomes donations.

Lawrence is memorialised on the College site with a plaque in the entrance, a bust in the Chapel (a copy of the original by Eric Kennington which was presented to the College by M.R. Lawrence in 1961), and a portrait in Hall (a copy by Alix Jennings of the original by Augustus John which was bought by the College after Lawrence’s death). A brass rubbing of Archbishop Cranley, taken by Lawrence with his friend W.O. Ault in 1908, hangs outside the T.E. Lawrence Room (his former bedroom), and a sketch of Lawrence by James McBey is displayed in the Upper Senior Common Room.

If you wish to see any of this material, please contact the College Librarian (librarian@jesus.ox.ac.uk) or Archivist (archivist@jesus.ox.ac.uk) as appropriate.

Magdalen College:

Magdalen College is now a major focus for research activity around T E Lawrence. He was a Senior Demy at Magdalen from 1911-1914, and the College funded him to travel overseas as a postgrad and to start his career in Middle Eastern archaeology. A key mentor of his was Magdalen man David Hogarth, who was also a student here, as well as a fellow for many years.

We hold several collections relating to Lawrence in the College Archives, and we add to these whenever possible. Two recent arrivals in the Archives are the papers of D G Hogarth (demy here 1881-1885, Fellow here 1886-1927) (archive reference P452, click here to browse) and the papers of Jeremy Wilson, official biographer of T E Lawrence (archive reference P450, click here to browse). If you have any further queries about the archival holdings, please email archives@magd.ox.ac.uk

Part of the T.E. Lawrence collection in the Old Library.

The College Library has been greatly expanding its collections relating to T.E. Lawrence in recent years. There is now a significant collection stored in the Old Library that relates to all aspects of his life. All shelfmarks begin with “Magd.Lawrence-T.” and you can browse through the collection on SOLO here

Thanks to the generosity of Justin Huscher (R.S. 1878-80) and Hilarie Huscher, Magdalen received the personal research library of Jeremy Wilson, along with his extensive papers, in May 2018. Published material in the library has been added to the T.E. Lawrence collection where it directly relates to Lawrence’s life. Wilson’s more general works, focusing mainly on the history and politics of the Middle East, are currently being catalogued and stored in their own sequence in the Longwall Library due to space issues. All shelfmarks begin with “WILS” and you can browse through the collection on SOLO here. If you have any further queries about the library holdings, please email library@magd.ox.ac.uk