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Jack Eric Morpurgo Papers

Identifier: 01/Mss. Acc. 2001.M67

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

Papers, 1937-2000, bulk 1950-1970, of Jack Morpurgo, writer, educator, and editor. Includes correspondence, speeches, lectures, radio scripts, published and unpublished essays, articles, and novels, books from his personal library, certificates and awards, photographs, and framed prints.

Most of the collection consists of Morpurgo's personal writings and business correspondence related to his work as a professor, editor, and director of the National Book League. Morpurgo was a British citizen and graduate of Christ's Hospital school. During his career, he wrote extensively on the subject of Christ's Hospital school. The school was founded in 1552 as a charity to benefit needy children with shelter, food, clothing, and an education. By the eighteenth century, Christ's Hospital was known as one of England's great public schools. It continues to educate British children in the twenty-first century. The papers include correspondence with Edmund Blunden, Virginia Hamilton Adair, Charles Forte, and Russel B. Nye.

Addition 2008.252 contains a typed carbon manuscript for book entitled, "Apprenticeship in Colonial Virginia" by Jack E. Morpurgo, probably written after 1939.

Series 2, Their Majesties Royall Colledge Material, Acc. 1980.126: Five boxes of notes and drafts about Morpurgo's book "Their Majesties' Royall Colledge", correspondence with the Society of the Alumni, and a broadcast script of a Backdrop Club presentation from 1938. The inventory for this accession can be found below in the Box List section of this finding aid.


  • 1937-2000
  • Majority of material found in 1950-1970


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Jack Morpurgo (1918-2000) graduated from Christ's Hospital School in England. He was the first British graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia after the American Revolution. He served in the British military during World War II. In his professional life, he was an editor and author of fiction and non-fiction. He was a frequent contributor of articles and book reviews to magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers. He wrote and participated in numerous radio and television broadcasts in Britain, the United States, Canada, and Australia. A significant portion of his career was spent under the tutelage of Alan Lane, founder of Penguin Books. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


23.00 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

The original deposit was organized into 20 series: Series 1. Correspondence and biographical material; Series 2. Correspondence relating to writing projets; Series 3. Records relating to Christ's Hospital; Series 4. Papers relating to the College of William & Mary Series; 5. Papers relating to the University of Leeds Series; 6. Teaching materials Series; 7. Speeches; Series 8. Papers relating to WW II and the military; Series 9. Articles; Series 10. Papers related to the History of the Book-Readers, Writers, Publishers; Series 11. Papers related to Penguin Publishing; Series 12. Essays on Literature; Series 13. Book reviews; Series 14. Papers relating to books by J.E.M.; Series 15. Writings; Series 16. Genealogical information; Series 17. Miscellaneous Non-J.E.M.; Series 18. Photographs; Series 19. Artifacts, prints, awards; Series 20: Audio materials; Series 21. Library.

Series 2, Their Majesties Royall Colledge Material, was originally the Jack Eric Morpurgo Papers, UA 5.011, and was intellectually combined in August 2011.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

A portion of this collection is stored offsite. Consult a staff member for assistance.

Acquisition Information:

Acc. No. 2001-4; Gift: ca. 3,700 items, 01/2001. Acc. 1980.126 acquired on 08/25/1980, 08/30/1985, and 06/02/1988. Acc. 1984.060 acquired on 08/16/1984.

Related Materials:

UA 126: Office of University Development Records

Audiocassettes from this collection have been moved to the Manuscripts Audiovisual Collection.

Separated Materials:

Acc. 1984.060: Mylar sheets containing the negatives used for the photographs reproduced in "Their Majesties' Royall Colledge", approximately 3' x 4' in size, were deaccessioned in January 2012.

All audiovisual material from this collection has been moved to the Manuscripts Audiovisual Collection.

Physical Description

3700 items


Other Information:

A PDF document of this inventory is available online.

Additional information may be found at

Guide to the Jack Eric Morpurgo Papers
Finding Aid Authors: Special Collections Staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Revision Statements

  • May 24th, 2018: Updated by Anne Johnson in 2010. UA 5.011, Jack Eric Morpurgo Papers, intellectually combined in August 2011 by Benjamin Bromley.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository