Robert Dawson Romany Collection

Reference: D BDDate: 1870-2001Extent: 32 boxes

Robert Michael Dawson has spent over 50 years researching and writing about Britain’s Traditional Travellers – Gypsies (Romanies), Scottish Travellers and Irish Travellers and has written over 50 books and booklets about their History, Language, Way of Life, Traditions, Culture, Folk Lore and Families, some under his pen name, Stanley Wallcliffe Tarno. Dawson is the President of the Romany & Traveller Family History Society, (R&TFHS), former Treasurer of the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group, a member of the National Association of Teachers of Travellers, an honorary member of the Romani Association of Australia, and a member of Romany Roots and other related organizations.

The Robert Dawson Romany Collection was donated by Dawson to the R&TFHS in 1998, the Society deposited the Collection at MERL to make it easily accessible to R&TFHS members and other researchers.

The collection consists of papers relating to Gypsies and Travellers including research and writings by Dawson, presscuttings, material concerning Gypsy Societies and Gypsies and government legislation, teaching packs, publications including reports and academic papers, sheet music, illustrative material including photographs, drawings, posters, postcards and cigarette cards and plans of caravans.

The related Library and Object Collections have still to be catalogued.

More Information

  • A handlist for the whole collection can be found here.
  • Related printed material can also be found in the MERL Library at classmark 8442
  • See also the following links for information on other material collected by Robert Dawson:

Associated collections

R.B. Law Photograph Collection (P DX345)

This collection consists of 41 postcards and 2 photographs supplied R B Law, showing gypsies and their caravans, 1962-1990. There currently is not a list of these images, but many of them are featured as a sub-section of the main Robert Dawson Collection. You can view a record for this collection online.

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