University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Sir Gerald Barry

1925 - 1968

Manuscript Collection Number: 302
Accessioned: Purchase, April 1993
Extent: ca. 580 items (1 linear ft.)
Content: Letters, clippings, galley proofs, pamphlets, photographs, speeches, reviews, lists, and reports.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: July 1994, by Anita A. Wellner

for reference assistance email Special Collections
or contact:

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

British journalist and administrator Sir Gerald Reid Barry was born November 20, 1898, in Surbiton, County Surrey. Educated at Marlborough College, Barry was selected in 1916 to attend Corpus Christi, Cambridge, where he planned to study history; however, World War I intervened, and between 1917 and 1919 Barry served in Great Britain's Royal Air Force, attaining the rank of captain by the end of his service.

Following the war, Barry became a journalist, writing lead articles for the Daily Express until 1921, when he began working for the Saturday Review. By 1925 Barry had become the editor of the Saturday Review, contributing a popular column which focused on his interests in politics, literature, and the arts. He remained editor until February 28, 1930, when he resigned, following a disagreement with the owner of the Saturday Review.

Within two weeks after his resignation, Barry, and the editorial staff who had followed him from the Saturday Review, had created the Week-end Review, publishing the first issue on March 14, 1930. The Week-end Review of Politics, Books, the Theatre, Art, and Music had a successful run of four years, before encountering financial difficulties which necessitated its merger with the New Statesman in 1934.

Barry also edited two books with connections to the Week-end Review, namely A Week-end Calendar (1932) and This England (1934). This England consisted of extracts from Barry's popular column of the same title, to which readers had sent absurdities which they garnered from publications by the English Press.

In 1934 Barry joined the staff of the News Chronicle as the features editor, becoming the managing editor in 1936, and serving through 1947. In 1948 he accepted a position as the salaried Director-General of the 1951 Festival of Britain. The success of the Festival of Britain was one of his most recognized achievements and contributed to his selection for knighthood in 1951.

After 1951, Barry served in a number of appointments, including advisor on public policy to the National Farmers' Union, consultant to the London County Council on the development of the Crystal Palace and park, chairman of the Barbican Committee, chairman of a theatre censorship reform committee, and beginning in 1958, editor in charge of Granada Television's plans for educational broadcasting. He was also chairman of International Literary Management (ILM) for which he recruited writers.

In 1955, Barry returned temporarily to the News Chronicle as its literary editor and during the same period wrote lead articles for the Sunday Times. In 1965 he edited, together with J. Bronowski, James Fisher, and Sir Julian Huxley, a dictionary titled Health and Wealth.

Sir Gerald Barry died in London, on November 21, 1968. A plaque commemorating his life was unveiled outside the Royal Festival Hall in 1971.


Nicholls, C.S. and E.T. Williams (eds.) The Dictionary of National Biography 1961-1970. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981. pp. 75-76.

Scope and Content Note

The Sir Gerald Barry Correspondence spans the dates 1925-1968 and consists of one linear foot of material, chiefly letters; but also including a few lists, pamphlets, speeches, reviews, one galley proof, and a photograph.

The letters are written by a wide variety of Sir Gerald Barry's friends and professional contacts. In most instances carbon copies of Barry's responses are included with the letters.

Correspondents include numerous literary notables, such as L. P. Hartley, Arnold Bennett, Maurice Baring, Stephen Spender, Max Beerbohm, John Lehmann, Beverly Nichols, Humbert Wolfe, John Buchan, R. C. Sherriff, Hugh Walpole, C. P. Snow, and Virginia Woolfe. Some of the correspondents wrote to Barry concerning their contributions to the Saturday Review or to the Week-End Review. Others, such as Virginia Woolf and John Buchan, wrote to decline Barry's requests for articles or reviews.

Many of the letters, written during the 1930s, express the correspondent's enthusiasm for Barry's editorship. Consequently, in 1934, many contributors wrote to convey their disappointment and remorse over the merger of the Week-End Review and the New Statesman.

Since the letters span most of Sir Barry's career, they reflect not only his work at the Saturday Review and editorship of the Week-End Review, but also his chairmanship of International Literary Management, his direction of Granada Television's plans for educational broadcasting, and his administration of the Festival of Britain.

Letters from the 1940s and 1950s describe arrangements for educational broadcasts for Granada Television; details for "Special Enquiry," a BBC series edited by Barry; early plans for the Festival of Britain, and contributions to News Chronicle. The correspondents also discuss speaking engagements (by Barry and others), appointments, travel plans, British politics, journalism, architecture, British economy and trade, and Barry's editorials.

Included among the professional correspondence are letters which discuss personal matters, including lunch and dinner engagements, visits to and from friends, concerns about Barry's health or the health of other friends, and his vacation and travel plans. A significant number of these letters also express the correspondent's appreciation for Sir Barry's congratulations, which he conveyed to them following their receipt of various British awards, including knighthood.

In addition to correspondence, the collection includes poems written by Marion Peacock, Stark Young, and Edmund Seagrave; a copy of Barry's tribute to Sir James Turner; critiques of "Special Enquiry" and a book by Stephen Potter (represented by International Literary Management); a draft of J.B.S. Haldane's essay, "Lord Birkenhead Improves His Mind;" excerpts from a speech by Michael Stewart; Barry's synopsis and proposal for The Week-End Book; a booklet titled Farnley Hall (1962); and Powys Evans's pamphlet, Some Words of Six Leading Statesmen...(Cayme Press, 1926). Also included are a curriculum vitae for composer Richard Arnell, several clippings, a proof of an editorial by Scott Goddard, and a photograph of an award.

Arrangement Note

The collection is retained in the original order in which it was received. Consequently, the correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. However, a small number of letters in the collection are not in alphabetical order. Originally enclosed in other letters, these letters have been left in their original location. Such letters are listed where they appear in the folders.

The final folder in this collection contains letters written by unidentified persons.

Items such as proofs, clippings, articles, and other material are located with the letters in which they were originally enclosed or in alphabetical order by author when no correspondence related to the item is present.

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

1    F1   Adams - Atholl
          Adams, Mary
          Agate, James, 1877-1947.
          Alexander, H. G.
          Allan, Robert A.
          Allen of Hartwood
          Andrade, E. N. (Edward Neville da Costa), 1887-1971.
          Andrews, Eamonn
          Arnell, Richard, 1917-
          Ashby, Eric, 1904-
          Atholl, Katharine Majory Stewart-Murray, Duchess of,
          Atholl, W. W.

     F2   Baker - Banter
          Baker, Stanley
          Baldwin, Stanley Baldwin, Earl, 1867-1947.
          Balfour, Honor
          Balfour, John, Sir
          Banter, A. Beverley
     F3   Baring, Maurice, 1874-1945.

     F4   Barker - Beaumont
          Barker, Curen (?)
          Barman, T. G.
          Baron, Stanley
          Bart, Lionel
          Bartlett, Vernon, 1894-
          Beaumont, Timothy Wentworth
     F5   Beerbohm, Max, Sir, 1872-1956.

     F6   Behan - Bell
          Behan, John         
          Bell, Doyne, Dr.

     F7   Bennett, Arnold, 1867-1931.

     F8   Bennidy - Boothby
          Bennidy, W.
          Bernard, Oliver
          Betts, Ernst, 1896-
          Black, Misha, Sir, 1910-1977.
          Bladett, B.
          Bladle, Gould
          Bone, James, 1872-
          Bonher Certer, Violet
          Boothby, Robert, Lord

1    F9   Boura - Bryant
          Boura, C.
          Boulting, John
          Bridges-Adams, William, 1889-1965.
          Briggs, Asa, 1921-
          Moir, Guthrie
          Brown, Ivor John Carnegie, 1891-
          Brittain, Harry, Sir, 1873-1974.
          Brook, Peter
          Browne, E. Martin (Elliott Martin), 1900-
          Bruce-Porter, Bruce, Sir
          Bryan, Dora
          Bryant, Arthur, Sir, 1899-
     F10  Buchan, John, 1875-1940.

     F11  Buchanan - Burton
          Buchanan, George, 1904-
          Budden, Frank
          Burton, Basil

     F12  Caccia - Caplet
          Caccia, Harold
          Cadbury, Laurence J.
          Russell, Lilian
          Camacho, J. A. (George)
          Cameron, James
          Cammaerts, Francis C. A.
          Campbell, Jock A., Sir
          Camrose, William Ewert Berry, Viscount, 1879-
          Caplet (?), Marcus

     F13  Casson - Cotes
          Casson, Hugh Maxwell, Sir, 1910-
          Castle, Barbara, 1911-
          Cecil, Hugh (Hugh P.)
          Chapman, Brian
          Christie, John
          Clark, Kenneth, 1903-
          Clegg, Hugh Armstrong
          Cochran, Charles B.
          Collins, Norman, 1907-
          Connor, William
          Cooke, Cecil
          Cooke, Colin R.
          Cotes, Peter

1    F14  Cox - Curtis
          Cox, Geoffrey
          Cox, Ian H. (Ian Herbert), 1910-
          Cripps, Stafford, Sir
          Crankshaw, Edward
          Crowther, Geoffrey, Sir, 1907-
          Cruikshank, Robin J.
          Goddard, Scott
          Cudlipp, Percy
          Cummings, Arthur J.
          Curtis, Michael, 1923-
     F15  D'aberon - Dupree
          Daintrey, Adrian
          Daniel, Glyn Edmund
          Darwin, Robin
          Dawson, Geoffrey
          Day, Robin, Sir, 1923-
          de Guingand, Francis Wilfred, Sir, 1900-
          Dent, Alan
          Dolmetsch, Arnold, 1858-1940.
          Don, Alan C.
          Driberg, Tom, Baron Bradwell
          Dunelly, Bernard
          Dupree, Tom (?)

     F16  Eden - Evans
          Eden, Anthony, Earl of Avon, 1897-
          Elliott, John, Sir
          Elliot, Walter
          Elmhirst, Leonard K.
          Ernle, Rowland Edmund Prothero, Baron, 1851-1937.
          Erroll, Frederick
          Evans, B. Ifor (Benjamin Ifor), 1899-
          Evans, Powys
          Evans, Trevor, Sir, 1903-

2    F17  Fenwick - Freud
          Fenwick, Trevor
          Fernald, John, 1905-
          Fisher, James, 1912-
          Fitter, Richard Sidney Richmond
          Fonteyn, Margot, Dame, 1919-
          Forbes, Mansfield
          Forbes-Robertson, Johnston, Sir, 1853-1937.
          Foyle, Christina
          Fraser, Robert, Sir
          Fraser, Ronald, Sir, 1888-
          Frazer, Michael
          Freud, Clement                

     F18  Garnett - Gollancz
          Garnett, Robert Singleton, 1866-1932.
          Gardiner, Gerald, 1900-
          Gibberd, Frederick
          Gielgud, Val Henry, 1900-
          Gillard, Frank
          Glenister, John
          Gollancz, Victor, 1893-1967.

     F19  Granville-Barker - Grisewood
          Granville-Barker, Harley, 1877-1946.
          Gray, James, Sir, 1891-1975.
          Gribble, Philip
          Thompson, Nicholas I.
          Wolfers, John
          Grimmond, Jo
          Grisewood, Harman, 1906-

     F20  Haldane - Hart-Davis
          Haldane, J. B. S. (John Burton Sanderson), 1892-1964.
          Hale, Lionel, 1909-
          Cathie, I. A. B.
          Page, D.
          Armstrong, Martin
          Haley, William John, Sir, 1901-
          Hall, Peter
          Hart, William O.
          Hart-Davis, Rupert, 1907-

     F21  Hartley, L. P. (Leslie Poles), 1895-1972.

2    F22  Hawkes - Hopkins
          Hawkes, Jacquetta Hopkins, 1910-
          Heal, Anthony
          Herbert, Alan Patrick, 1890-
          Herbert, Mervyn
          Hewat, Tim
          Rolph, C. H. (Cecil Hewitt), 1901-
          Hoare, Samuel
          Holford, William, Sir
          Hollowood, A. Bernard, 1910-
          Hooper, Frederic
          Hopkins, Gerard, 1892-

     F23  Horder - Huxley
          Horder, Lord
          Hore-Belisha, Leslie
          Horton-Fawkes, Le G. G. W.
          Hoyle, Fred, Sir
          Hussey, Christopher
          Hussey, Dyneley, 1893-1972.
          Huxley, Gervas

     F24  Inglis - Ismay
          Inglis, Brian, 1916-
          Ismay, Hastings Lionel Ismay, Baron, 1887-1965.

     F25  James - Knox
          James, Philip Brutton, 1901-
          Jeffares, A. Norman (Alexander Norman), 1920-
          Jenkins, Roy
          Johnson, Celia, 1908-
          Judson, Philip
          Keely, E. P.
          Knox, E. V. (Edmund Valpy), 1881-1971.

     F26  Lane - Lee
          Lane, Allen, Sir
          Lasdun, Denys
          Laski, Harold Joseph, 1893-1950.
          Laski, Marghanita, 1915-
          Lee, Jennie, 1904-
          Lee, Laurie

     F27  Lehmann, John, 1907-

2    F28  Linklater - Lynd
          Linklater, Eric, 1899-
          Littlewood, Joan
          Roberts, Denys Kilham
          Liverpool, Albert
          Lloyd-George, Gwilym
          Longford, Lord
          Lusty, Robert, Sir, 1909-
          Lynd, Robert, 1879-1949.

     F29  Macmillan - McLaren
          Martin, D. C.
          Kneebone, Peter
          Martin, Kingsley, 1897-1969.
          Masefield, John, 1878-1967.
          Massey, Harrie Stewart Wilson, Sir
          Maud, John, Sir
          McCarthy, Ralph
          McLaren, Moray

     F30  Mercer - Murrow
          Mercer, G. E.
          Middleton, Drew, 1913-
          Milne, David, Sir, 1896-
          Monckton, Walter
          Montagu, Ivor Goldsmid Samuel, 1904-
          Moorehead, Alan, 1910-
          Morris, Claud
          Morrison, Herbert Stanley, 1888-
          Mortimer, Raymond, 1895-
          Morton, Johnny
          Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903-
          Muir, Ramsay, 1872-1941.
          Muirhead, Thorburn
          Murray, David
          Murray, John
          Murrow, Edward R.

3    F31  Nathan - Newton
          Nathan, Lord
          Nevinson, C. R. W. (Christopher Richard Wynne), 1889-
          Newton, Eric, 1893-1956.
     F32  Nichols, Beverley, 1899-

3    F33  Nicholson - Oxford
          Nicholson, Edward Max
          Norton, Clifford
          Oxford, Mar (?)

     F34  Parry - Petrie
          Parry, Edward Abbott, Sir, 1863-1943.
          Patch, Blanche Eliza, 1878-
          Peacock, Marion
          Perry, Eustace
          Petrie, Charles, Sir, 1895-

     F35  Piper, John, 1903-

     F36  Playfair - Powell
          Playfair, Nigel
          Plummer, Leslie, Sir
          Pollock, Gay C.
          Pope, Olive
          Reynolds, Jacqueline
          Potter, Stephen
          Powell, Anthony, 1905-

     F37  Randall - Reinhardt
          Randall, Alec
          Ray, Cyril, 1908-
          Rees-Mogg, William, 1928-
          Reilly, Paul
          Reinhardt, Max, 1873-1943.

     F38  Richards - Ryan
          Richards, J. M. (James Maude), Sir, 1907-
          Roberts, Brian R.
          Robson, Flora, Dame, 1902-
          Roskill, Oliver W.
          Rotha, Paul, 1907-
          Swallow, Norman
          Bennett, Holland
          Barnes, George
          de Lotbiniere, Anthony
          Campey, George
          Dembovitz, Nathan
          Rothwell, Bruce
          Royde-Smith, Naomi Gwladys
          Russell, Gordon, Sir
          Ryan, A. P.

3    F39  Sainsbury - Sheppard
          Sainsbury, A. Pomeroy
          Saint-Denis, Suria
          St. John-Stevens, Norman
          MacFarlane, J. E. C.
          Salter, Arthur Salter, Baron, 1881-
          Samuel, Herbert Louis Samuel, Viscount, 1870-1963.
          Sargent, Malcolm, Sir, 1895-1967.
          Scott, Charles Prestwich, 1846-1932.
          Segrave, Edmond
          Shaw, Glen Byam
          Sheppard, Hugh Richard Lawrie, 1880-1937.

     F40  Sherriff, R. C. (Robert Cedric), 1896-1975.

     F41  Simon - Spence
          Simon, John
          Skevington, Gerard
          Johnson, Pamela Hansford, 1912- (Lady Snow)
          Snow, C. P. (Charles Percy), 1905-1980.
          Sowersby, A. G.
          Sparrow, John Hanbury Angus, 1906-
          Spears, Edward Louis, Sir, 1886-1974.
          Spence, Basil, Sir, 1907-

     F42  Spender, Stephen, 1909-

     F43  Steed - Symons
          Steed, Henry Wickham, 1871-
          Summerson, John Newenham, Sir, 1904-
          Swinbury (?), George
          Symons, Arthur, 1865-1945.

     F44  Tallent - Turner
          Tallent, Stephen
          Thistleton, Francis
          Thomas, Alan
          Thomas, Miles, Sir
          Topolski, Feliks, 1907-
          Tubbs, Ralph
          Turner, James, Sir

3    F45  Walpole - Williamson
          Walpole, Hugh, Sir, 1884-1941.
          Webster, David
          Reinhardt, Max, 1873-1943.
          Weisz, Vicky
          Wheeler, Charles, Sir
          Williams, Francis, 1903-
          Williams-Ellis, Clough
          Williams, Evelyn (Evelyn A.)
          Ross, Williamson, Hugh, 1901-1978.

     F46  Wolfe, Humbert, 1885-1940.

     F47  Wolfit, Donald, 1902-1968.

     F48  Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941.

     F49  Young - Zuckerman
          Young, Stark
          Thompson, Nicholas I.
          Zuckerman, Solly Zuckerman, Baron, 1904-
F50  Unidentified

Back to the UD Special Collections Home Page

+ Return to List of Manuscript Finding Aids by Title

This page is maintained by Special Collections
Last modified: 01/19/11
  • UD Library Special Collections  •   181 South College Avenue  •   Newark, DE 19717-5267  •   USA
    Phone: USA +1 302-831-2229  •   ©2014