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Senate House Library

Prothero Collection

The Collection 

Subject: Modern History 

Approximately 1,100 pamphlets in 93 boxes and bound volumes, dating chiefly from the early twentieth century and relating primarily to the social, economic and political history of England and Europe during the period 1880-1914. They include several volumes of ecclesiastical pamphlets with an Anglican emphasis, as well as groups of pamphlets on specific themes such as Vatican decrees, Irish home rule, Toynbee Hall appointments, women’s suffrage and university reform. Some pamphlets are scarce. Especially noteworthy among these is Mahatma Gandhi’s four-page principle of Satyagraha (Bombay, 1917), translated by himself, in a box of 21 items all printed in Bombay or Madras around 1917 and pertaining to India. The pamphlets overall provide rounded views of the topics discussed, e.g. both for and against women’s suffrage. A few testify to Sir George Prothero’s early interest in German history and his early lecturing duties on mediaeval history. Some offprints and some journal articles are included.

The pamphlets were assembled by Sir George Prothero (1848-1922; see ODNB), a historian who helped to shape history as an academic discipline. Prothero was sometime President of the Royal Historical Society, which donated the pamphlets to Senate House Library in 1935.


For an overview of the collection, do an author search on "Prothero, G. W." as former owner or a mixed classmark search on [Prothero].  The latter brings up items in box order, thus providing rough subject groupings. The collection is held off-site and material requires 48 hours (excluding weekends) to be fetched. 

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