fonds CYS - Records of the Canterbury and York Society

Identity area

Reference code



Records of the Canterbury and York Society


  • 1904-2003 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.2 cubic metres

10 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Canterbury and York Society was founded in 1904 with the purpose of 'transcribing or photographing, printing or publishing bishops' registers and other ecclesiastical records'. These publications were distributed to members as part of their annual subscription.

The archbishops of Canterbury and York were from the start the presidents of the Society. The Society appointed a treasurer and joint secretaries. It retained joint secretaries until 1938 when the Annual General Meeting elected only one secretary for the first time. From 1911 to 1922 the role of secretary was combined with that of general editor, but from this point the posts were held by two separate individuals.

In 1919 the appointment of a permanent chair was made for the first time. Meetings were halted briefly during the Second World War, for part of 1940 and 1941.

By the 1920s, Council had become a more academic body with the number of clergymen on it reduced in number. The Society has retained its academic focus to the present day, with the current Council made up of a mixture of academics and archivists. The Society holds regular Council meetings as well as its Annual General Meetings at which a talk is given: early talks were on specific registers, but recent talks are on a wider variety of subjects of academic interest.

From just under 100 members at its inception, the Society has increased to a level of approximately 250 members. Notable members include Eric Kemp, Bishop of Chichester, and Norah Gurney, Director of the Borthwick Institute.

Archival history

These records were originally deposited in 1983 in Cambridge University Library under the reference MS Add.8374.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was transferred to the Borthwick Institute from Cambridge University Library in 2007, at the request of the Society's Council.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Minutes of council meetings and annual general meetings, 1904-1973; annual reports, 1905-1906, 1908-1909, 1911-1919, 1923-1924, 1926-1937, 1955, 1962-2000; chairs' papers, 1962-1968; secretaries' papers, 1905-1910, 1927-1936, 1965-1983, 1989-2000; audited accounts, 1932-1933, 1936-1937, 1958-1959, 1961-1962; account books, 1947-1985; treasurers' papers, 1909-1973; general editors' papers, 1922-2003; review and correspondence concerning the first publication of The Athenaeum, 1905.


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute, University of York, terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript catalogue, to file level, is available for consultation in the Borthwick Institute's searchrooms and at the National Register of Archives, London.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The archive of Eric Kemp is also deposited at the Borthwick Institute.

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Archivist's note

Description compiled by Philippa Hoskin on 7 April 2008.

Accession area

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