Massingham, Harold J. Collection

Reference: D MASMDate: 1918-1957Extent: 39 documents, 257 objects
landscape view in the Massingham collectionHarold John Massingham was born in 1888 and spent his early life in London where he received a conventional middle class education at Westminster School. This was followed by Queen’s College Oxford at which he first read history, later transferring to English literature but he failed to graduate due to illness.

Massingham returned to London to follow a career in journalism where he worked for the `Morning Leader’, `National Press Agency’, and the `Athenaeum’ 1912-14. He made weekly contributions to the `Nation’ and `Athenaeum’ 1916-24. He also contributed to the `Field’ 1938-51 and the `Spectator’ in 1951. As a precursor to the modern ecological movement and a major contributor to English rural literature he encompassed all facets of English rural life from pre-history to the twentieth century. Massingham’s interests in literature, art, ornithology, archaeology, anthropology, geology, topography, agricultural and rural history were all brought to bear on his subject of England and its countryside. He died in 1952.

At his home in the Cotswolds he built a Hermitage to house his collection of tools, implements and products of craftsmanship and husbandry. Many of these ‘country relics’ featured in his writings.

The archive contains biographical information, correspondence, research, published works and photographs.

The object collection consists of over 200 tools, implements and craft objects. The group of objects forms part of the founding collection of the museum.

More information

A full description is available on our online database.
A full handlist for the collection can be found here.

The objects and books are catalogued on the online database. Search using the word ‘Massingham’

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