Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)DA65
TitlePapers of George Auden
Extent2 manuscript boxes, box of 67 lantern slides.
DescriptionRecords of George Auden's visits to Coptic monasteries in the Wadi Natrun, Sinai, Egypt, in 1916, including two diaries and 67 lantern slides.
ArrangementThe original records have been arranged in chronological order. Photographs taken from some of the lantern slides, which were produced for an exhibition in 2001, have been listed with the collection. Other records from this exhibition, including research notes, photographs, panels of text, and captions have been filed in the deposit file.
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered readers
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 of this catalogue is also available for consultation in the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections Department.
Access StatusOpen
Physical DescriptionLantern slides
Administrative HistoryGeorge Augustus Auden (1872-1957) was educated at Repton and at Christ's College, Cambridge, taking a first-class degree in natural sciences in 1893. He studied medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, and qualified in medicine in 1896. He held several medical appointments in London before moving to York, where he was physician at York County Hospital for fourteen years. His son W. H. Auden was born at 54 Bootham, York, in 1907, and in 1908 he moved to Birmingham, where he became the first School Medical Officer and Lecturer in Public Health at Birmingham University. Here he gained an international reputation as an innovative researcher and educator. During the First World War he served as a medical officer in the British Army in Egypt, Gallipoli, and France. He retired as School Medical Officer in 1937, but continued at the University and became Professor of Public Health in 1941.
He married Constance Rosalie Bicknell in 1899. They had three sons: Bernard, who became a farmer; the geologist John Bicknell Auden; and the poet W. H. Auden

George Auden visited four Coptic monasteries in the Wadi Natrun, Sinai, Egypt, in May and July 1916, while he was stationed in Egypt during the First World War. His visits were organized by Mr Hooker, Manager of the Egyptian Salt and Soda Company, who asked his colleague Mr Paterson, the resident engineer at the salt works, to look after him. He obtained a letter of introduction from the Patriarch of Cairo (who had been at one time the Abbot of one of the monasteries) to the four Abbots of the monasteries he wanted to visit. He visited Dair Anba Bishoi and Dair Suriani on 10 May 1916, Dair Baramus on 11 May 1916, and Dair Makarius on 19 July 1916.

Information taken from the panels from an exhibition about the collection at the University of Birmingham prepared by Meline Nielsen in 2001. The records of this exhibition, which include panels, captions, correspondence, and photographs, are in the deposit file for the collection.
Additional biographical information taken from
Custodial HistoryDeposited, probably by George Auden, in the Rendel Harris Library, later the Selly Oak Colleges Library. The envelope in which the records were deposited is labelled in George Auden's hand 'To be collected from Rendel Harris Library by Mrs [Janet] Leonard'. Janet Leonard worked for the Selly Oak Colleges Library from 1950-1973 and George Auden died in 1957, so it is likely that the collection was deposited between 1950 and 1957.

The collection was transferred to the Orchard Learning Resources Centre which was opened in 1997 following the merger of the Selly Oak Colleges Library and the Westhill College Library. In 2000, the custodianship of all archive collections held at the Orchard Learning Resources Centre was transferred to the University of Birmingham
CopiesPrints were taken from some of the lantern slides for an exhibition at the University of Birmingham in 2001. These are listed as DA65/2.
Publication NoteFor a brief introduction to the collection, see Meline Nielsen 'Auden Trails: from Birmingham to Wadi Natrun', SCONUL Newsletter 24 (Winter 2001): 41.


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