Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)C
TitleThe Chamberlain Family Collection
Extent24 linear metres
DescriptionA collection of miscellaneous items relating to members of the Chamberlain family, including printed items, photographs, addresses, ephemera and various other items.

The collection includes: works, articles and other items by and about Joseph Chamberlain, [mid 19th century]-1987; works by and about Austen Chamberlain including articles, 1888-[1937]; miscellaneous printed items by various authors, 1852-1964; visitors' books belonging to Joseph and Mary Chamberlain, 1889-1916; Mary Chamberlain's diaries, 1887-1914; illuminated addresses and testimonials to Joseph and Mary E. Chamberlain, 1874-1914, illuminated addresses to Austen and Lady Chamberlain, 1903-1954; banquet and reception papers, [mid 19th century-early 20th century]; papers and artefacts relating to South Africa, [1901-1903]; press cuttings, scrap books and cartoons, 1791-1950; photographs relating to Joseph and Mary Chamberlain, [mid 19th century-circa 1984]; photographs relating to Austen Chamberlain and his family, [mid 19th century-mid 20th century]; Neville Chamberlain photographs [late 19th century-mid 20th century]; photocopies of letters from the Chamberlain family, 1887-1944; miscellaneous books, 1834-1960.

The bulk of items date from the 1870s to 1940s.
ArrangementThe collection is arranged roughly according to document type.

The structure of the collection is taken from a paper catalogue created in 1970 and the same finding numbers have been retained (except C1/10/20a, C3/1/12a, C11/1, C1/11/2 on the 1970 catalogue, which were renumbered C1/10/21, C3/1/13, C8/44 and C8/45 respectively). Some items which were previously uncatalogued, have been added to the structure.

This structure does not follow current standards of archival arrangement, and is not entirely consistent or logical.
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue, or view the catalogue as a PDF file by clicking in the document field below. A paper copy is also available for consultation in the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections Department.
DocumentC Chamberlain Family Catalogue.pdf
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryRight Honourable Joseph Chamberlain, (1836-1914) statesman: Educated at University College School; member of screw-manufacturing firm in Birmingham, 1854-1874; interested in social reform; chairman of National Education League of Birmingham, 1870; Mayor of Birmingham 1873-1875; became President of the Board of Trade and entered the second Gladstone cabinet, 1880; M.P. West Birmingham, 1885; president of Local Government Board in third Gladstone cabinet, February-March 1886, resigning on introduction of the Home Rule Bill which he opposed; Secretary of State for Colonies in third Salisbury cabinet, 1895-1903; Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, 1901; retired from public life in 1906.

Mary Chamberlain: (1864-1957); née Endicott; then Chamberlain. Nationality: American. Third wife of Right Honourable Joseph Chamberlain, married 1888; 2nd wife of Rev. William Hartley Carnegie, married 1916; step-mother of the Right Honourable Sir Austen Chamberlain and Right Honourable Neville Chamberlain, biography: Diana Whitehall Laing, Mistress of Herself , Barre Publishers, Massachusetts, 1965.

Right Honourable Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain, 1863-1937 statesman: son of Joseph Chamberlain and half-brother of Neville; educated at Rugby and Trinity College Cambridge; Liberal Unionist MP, East Worcestershire, 1892-1914; West Birmingham, 1914-1937; Civil Lord of Admiralty; 1895-1900; Financial Secretary to Treasury , 1900-1902; Postmaster General, 1902-1903; Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1903-1905; Secretary of State for India, 1915-1917; member of war cabinet, April 1918; Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1919-1921; Conservative leader, 1921; dissatisfaction with his support of Lloyd George culminated in Carlton Club meeting (19 October 1922) which brought coalition and his leadership to an end; Foreign Secretary, 1924-1929; Knight of the Garter and Nobel Peace Prize, 1925. Publications: Notes on the Families of Chamberlain and Harben, 1915; Down the Years, 1935; Politics from the Inside, 1936

Right Honourable Arthur Neville Chamberlain, 1869-1940: Son of the Right Honourable Joseph and Florence [nee Kenrick] Chamberlain, married Anne Vere Cole in 1911; half brother of the Right Honourable Sir Austen Chamberlain; educated at Rugby and Mason College, Birmingham; unsuccessfully attempted to grow sisal on his father's estate in the Bahamas, 1890-1897. In 1911 he was elected to Birmingham City Council and became Lord Mayor of Birmingham in 1915; established the only municipal savings bank, 1916; was appointed Director-General of National Service by Lloyd George in 1916 and resigned, 1917. From 1918-1940 he was Conservative MP for a Birmingham division; while in opposition (1920-1931) reorganised Conservative Central Office; became Postmaster General, 1922; Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1931-1937 and was Prime Minister, 1937-1940.

Reference: The Concise Dictionary of National Biography, 1901-1950 (Oxford, 1967).
Custodial HistoryThis collection is an artificial one. It appears to have been created from miscellaneous materials, both printed and manuscript, in the collections of papers of Joseph Chamberlain and his son Austen Chamberlain which were presented to the University by the Chamberlain Family and Chamberlain Trustees at a public ceremony on 18 October 1960. Material was subsequently added to this collection when the papers of Neville Chamberlain were presented in 1974. Photocopies of Chamberlain correspondence in the Endicott Papers and the Morton Prince Papers held by the Massachusetts Historical Society, which were acquired in 1984, were also added to this collection. An additional item was donated by a descendant of Mary Endicott Chamberlain via the Chamberlain Highbury Trust in 2022
CopiesMost of these papers were microfilmed by Primary Source Media as part of a project to publish the entire Chamberlain collection in series arranged around the three statesmen: Neville, Austen and Joseph and other family members. Facilities are available in Cadbury Research Library for researchers to make paper copies of individual items from these microfilms for their own private research purposes. Alternatively, digitized copies of the microfilms can be viewed online under 'Archives Unbound' at Members of the University of Birmingham may access the digital copies free of charge at
Related MaterialThe papers of Austen, Joseph, Neville, Beatrice, Ida, Hilda and Ethel Chamberlain are also held at University of Birmingham Library Services, Special Collections Department. Further artificial series of additional correspondence exist for each family member in the "Letters Additional" series.