Harold (1926-2004) and Joan (1926-2015) Perkin Papers
Scope and Contents
The Harold and Joan Perkin Papers fill 61 boxes, contain 6.28 megabytes of born-digital files, and span the years 1930s-2015. The collection is divided into series relating to Harold and Joan individually, as well as materials that document both individuals. Series 1 contains materials from Harold Perkin, Series 2 contains materials from Joan Perkin, and Series 3 is made up of shared materials that pertain to both Harold and Joan.
The Harold Perkin series (1930s-2010, n.d.) is divided into six subseries: biographical materials; correspondence; professional and teaching files; research files; guest lectures, addresses, and papers; and publications.
The biographical materials subseries is divided into personal data, photographs, subject files, and books. Biographical Materials: Personal data (1948-2010, n.d.) is arranged chronologically. It includes appointment diaries (1951-2004); legal documents, such as passports, driver’s licenses, and immigration paperwork; awards; files on Harold’s death and legacy; and clippings. Noteworthy items include Harold’s notes for and a video recording of an interview on his career. It includes a deteriorated PDF file of a born-digital resume. Biographical Materials: Photographs (1930s-1995, n.d.) are arranged chronologically. It contains childhood photographs of Harold and his siblings, professional portraits, and photographs of Harold traveling and with friends. According to the donor, Joan kept an extensive photograph collection of her and Harold’s travels, family, and friends, of which the donor provided a sample. Biographical Materials: Books (1935-1944, 1985) contains monographs that the donor deemed of personal significance to Harold. It includes books that Harold’s high school awarded to him, The Book of Common Prayer gifted to him by the Shelton Junior Church of England School Rector, textbooks for Cambridge, and a book on the Church on England in the Shelton area. They are inscribed and arranged chronologically.
The correspondence subseries is divided into general and subject correspondence. Correspondence: General (1976-2001, n.d.) is arranged chronologically. The bulk of correspondence is addressed to Harold. 28 PDF files contain born-digital correspondence from Harold. The main correspondents are family and historians E. J. Evans, Geoffrey Giles, and William Woodruff. The series documents Harold’s work with editors and historians, arrangements for guest lectures, travels, family news, and illnesses. Correspondence: Subject (1948-2005) is arranged alphabetically by topic according to the original folder titles. The bulk of correspondence is addressed to Harold. 14 PDF files contain born-digital correspondence from Harold. The main correspondents are family, historians, publishers, and editors. The subseries documents Harold’s guest speaking arrangements, work with publishers and academics, views on the Labour Party and British politics, travels, family news, illnesses, and death.
The professional and teaching files (1951-2004, n.d.) subseries is arranged alphabetically by topic according to the original folder titles. It documents his academic appointments, including his appointment to Northwestern University; arrangements for his guest lectures, fellowships, and research trips; his consultation of the BBC Bristol; and the Social History Society of the United Kingdom. It includes lecture notes for Harold’s Northwestern University C62-3 Twentieth Century Britain course and requests for reference letters from former students. 15 PDF and TXT files include born-digital correspondence from Harold regarding appointments and retirement, unpublished peer reviews of articles, conference abstracts, and a call for papers and notes on the votes for the editorial board of Cultural and Social History: The Journal of the Social History Society. Restricted files on Northwestern University history graduate students contain correspondence, drafts of student work, and curricula vitae.
The research files (1946-2000, n.d.) subseries is arranged alphabetically by topic according to the original folder titles. The files include clippings, photographs, reference correspondence, and notes on topics in British history, American culture, and historiography. Identifiable research files for specific books are located in the publications, books subseries.
The guest lectures, addresses, and papers (1968-2002) subseries is arranged alphabetically by title. It includes draft and finished papers, notes, programs, and correspondence regarding arrangements. 11 PDF files contain born-digital drafts of papers, abstracts, and correspondence concerning arrangements.
The publications subseries is divided by type of publication. Publications: articles (1955-2003) are arranged alphabetically by topic according to the original folder titles. It includes drafts, offprints, and published versions of articles; notes; and correspondence regarding reference questions and publication. 40 PDF and TXT files contain born-digital article drafts and correspondence regarding publication. Publications: books (1958-2004) are arranged alphabetically by book title. It consists of published monographs, drafts, notes, research clippings, correspondence regarding reference questions and publication, book contracts, and reviews. 18 PDF files contain born-digital drafts and correspondence concerning publication and reviewers. Publications: book reviews (1956-2004) are arranged chronologically. It includes drafts, offprints, and published versions of book reviews; notes; and correspondence regarding publication. 23 PDF files contain drafts and correspondence concerning publication. Publications: other (1959, 1972-1973, 1977) consists of a manuscript final report on a grant for the Social Science Research Council, and typed radio and television scripts, notes, and correspondence.
The Joan Perkin series (1905, 1930s-2015, n.d.) is divided into biographical, correspondence, teachings files, research files, guest lectures and papers, publications, and audio-visual. The biographical materials subseries is divided into personal data, photographs, subject files, and books. Biographical Materials: Personal data (circa 1930s-2015, n.d.) is arranged chronologically. It includes housekeeping cash books; legal documents, such as passports and driver’s licenses; calendars; appointment diaries; notes, assignments, and invitations to school prize ceremonies from Brownhills School for Girls; course notes and her degree certificate from the University of Lancaster; handbooks and reports from her term as a Justice of the Peace; awards; programs for performing arts and cultural events, weddings, and funerals; files on her funeral; and personal artifacts from the time of her death. Biographical Materials: Photographs (1976-2010, n.d.) is arranged chronologically. It consists of professional portraits of Joan, photographs of Joan with friends and family, and travel photographs. It also includes a photo album from the Northwestern University Les Femmes Savantes given to Joan before her move to London in 1997. According to the donor, Joan kept an extensive photograph collection of her and Harold’s travels, family, and friends, of which the donor provided a sample. Biographical Materials: Subject files (1980s-2014, n.d.) is arranged alphabetically by topic according to the original folder titles. It documents Joan’s donations to the Library of the Women’s Center at Northwestern University, the lives of family members and friends, and special events, among other topics. Biographical Materials: Books (1905-1993, n.d.) is arranged alphabetically. It includes her favorite childhood book Swiss Family Robinson according to the donor, books given to her for her fifteenth birthday, textbooks, and books given to her in recognition of Sunday school attendance and achievement at Brownhills School for Girls.
The correspondence subseries is divided into general and subject correspondence. Correspondence: General (1945, 1971-2014, n.d.) is arranged chronologically. Correspondents include family, particularly Deborah Perkin, Julian Perkin, Peggy Moxon, Hannah Perkin, sister-in-law Margaret Griffiths, and niece Penny Stracey-Clitheron; and friends Dorothy Marshall, Joan Hinde Stewart, and Helli Koenigsberger. Topics include traveling, visits with friends and family, family news, Joan’s books, work with historians, politics, the Northwestern Harold Perkin Prize, and donations to Northwestern. Correspondence: Subject (1948-2015) is arranged alphabetically by topic according to the original folder titles. It includes winter holiday newsletters and cards from friends and family, and Condolence cards regarding Joan’s death. The subseries also documents arrangements for guest lectures, applications for fellowships, work with historians and genealogists, and the health of the Koenigsberger family.
The teaching files subseries is arranged alphabetically by academic department or program, and course, with general materials following specific course subseries. Teaching Files: History C89-7 (1995-1997) subseries is arranged chronologically and documents Joan’s courses on Victorian women at Northwestern University. The subseries includes course syllabi, correspondence regarding registration, book lists, assignments, and lecture notes. Teaching Files: Women’s Studies B-10 (1993-1997) subseries is arranged chronologically and documents Joan’s Introduction to Women’s Studies and Life as Women Know It courses at Northwestern University. It includes course packets with reading assignments, syllabi, final examination questions, and lecture notes. Teaching Files: Women’s Studies (1941-1997, n.d.) subseries is arranged alphabetically and includes draft lectures and notes, clippings, and student work for Women’s Studies Program courses taught at Northwestern between 1993 and 1997 but not identifiable as a particular course. Files containing identifiable student work and grades are restricted. Teaching Files: General (circa 1980s-1990s) subseries is arranged alphabetically and contains materials not attributed to a particular department or program. It includes correspondence regarding Joan’s course schedules and contracts, an unnamed student acknowledgment section, and unnamed student essay. One folder of correspondence from students is restricted.
The research files subseries is divided into two topics: Research Files: Harriot Mellon (1977-2003, n.d.) and Research Files: Women’s History (1977-1990s, n.d.). Each subseries is arranged alphabetically by topic according to the original folder titles. It includes notes, drafts, photocopies, clippings, reference and image rights correspondence, and photographs. The guest lecturers and papers (1986, 1991-2001, n.d.) subseries is arranged alphabetically by title. It includes draft and finished papers, notes, programs, and correspondence regarding arrangements.
The publications subseries is divided by type of publication. Publications: Articles and Book Reviews (1994-2002, n.d.) is arranged alphabetically by title and contains draft, offprint, and published versions of articles and book reviews, notes, and correspondence with editors. Four PDF files contain born-digital article drafts. Publications: Books (1982-2006, n.d.) is arranged alphabetically by title and includes correspondence with publishers, contracts, advertisements, clippings, drafts, and reviews. 31 PDF files contain born-digital drafts, a research residency application, and correspondence with publishers.
The audio-visual (1989, 1993, 2001; n.d.) subseries is arranged alphabetically by title. It includes eight cassette tape recordings of interviews conducted by Joan, interviews of Joan about her books, and a lecture on women, marriage, and class structure in nineteenth century England. It also contains a VHS tape recording of Joan interviewing historian Dorothy Marshall.
The Shared Materials: Harold and Joan Perkin series (1939-2013, n.d.) is divided into biographical, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, and floppy disks.
The biographical materials subseries is divided into personal data, subject files, and books. Biographical Materials: Personal data (1948-2002, n.d.) is arranged chronologically. It includes legal documents, such as a copy of their entry of marriage and a shared passport; a newspaper entry by the couple; property real estate and rental listings; address books; calendars; and programs. Audio-visual items include two VHS tapes of footage of 1910-1940s local news and silent documentaries from Stoke-on-Trent, England, presented and produced by Ray Johnson through Stoke Original Theatre. It also includes three cassette tapes of music and messages for the couple’s Golden Wedding Anniversary party. Biographical Materials: Subject files (1978-2008) is arranged alphabetically by topic according to the original folder titles. The bulk of the subseries documents the lives of friends Austin Woolrych, Henry Paris, and Judith Paris; grandchildren Hannah Perkin Smithies and Nathan Perkin Smithies; and niece Penny Stracey-Clitheron. Biographical Materials: Books (1942-1997) is arranged alphabetically. The bulk of the series are inscribed books given to Harold and Joan by each other and by friends.
The correspondence subseries is divided into general and subject correspondence. Correspondence: General (1945-2004, n.d.) is arranged chronologically. It includes correspondence between Harold and Joan, and correspondence with others. Correspondents include Deborah Perkin, Julian Perkin, Penny Stracey-Clitheron, Dorothy Marshall, and Joan Hinde Stewart. Topics include travel, visits, family news, Harold’s fellowships in the United States, Deborah’s and Julian’s college activities and careers, and moving to the United States. Correspondence: Subject (1948-2013) is arranged alphabetically by topic according to the original folder titles. The bulk of the series are holiday and event cards to Harold and Joan. Noteworthy items include Christmas newsletters (1980-2013) and ten PDF and TXT files of the born-digital newsletters (1994-2003) from Joan and Harold that detail events in their professional and personal lives. 14 PDF and TXT files contains born-digital correspondence from Joan and Harold concerning their wills, banking, pensions, and taxes. The subseries also includes correspondence with Athena Press regarding the couple’s published books. One folder contains correspondence from a Northwestern University student and is restricted.
The photographs (1970-2004, n.d.) subseries is arranged chronologically. It includes photographs of the couple, their family, and friends in the United States and England, including Northwestern University professors. The subseries documents the couple’s international travel, holidays and celebrations, and homes in the United States and England. According to the donor, Joan kept an extensive photograph collection of her and Harold’s travels, family, and friends, of which the donor provided a sample. The scrapbooks (1938-1954, 1973, 1998) subseries is arranged chronologically. It includes a scrapbook made by Joan (1938-1954) with cuts outs from 21st birthday cards, wedding cards, invitations, gift vouchers, Christmas cards, and birth announcements. A Silver Wedding Anniversary scrapbook (1973) includes an invitation, cards, and photographs from the celebration. A scrapbook from Northwestern University friends Tilde and Tola Sankovitch (1998) contains photographs and notes reminiscing on their years in Evanston and celebrating Harold’s and Joan’s 50th wedding anniversary.
The floppy disks (1990-2004) subseries includes 70 3.5 inch floppy disks and a file inventory created by the processor. The disks have inscriptions on the labels referring to books, articles, conferences, and correspondence. The floppy disks have been imaged and their born-digital contents arranged into other subseries. The subseries includes licensed Microsoft Word 6.0.1 software installation disks for Macintosh and Power Macintosh. The software disks are not available digitally.
- 1905, 1930s-2015
- Majority of material found within 1970 - 2015
Conditions Governing Access
Restricted folders in boxes 11, 36-37, and 48 require consultation with University Archivist prior to use. This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.
Conditions Governing Use
The intellectual property rights of the born-digital material in this collection belong to the original creators and may be subject to copyright or other restrictions.
6.28 Megabytes (17 3.5-inch floppy disks)
Language of Materials
The papers of British social historians Harold and Joan Perkin fill 61 boxes and contain 6.28 megabytes of born-digital files. The collection documents their academic careers and personal lives in England and the United States, spanning dates 1905-2015, with bulk dates 1970-2015. Harold Perkin was one of the leaders in the British social history movement of the 1960s-1970s and a professor in the Department of History at Northwestern University from 1985 to 1997. Joan Perkin was a lecturer in the Department of History and Women’s Studies Program at Northwestern University from 1986 to 1997. The collection contains biographical materials, correspondence, photographs, teaching files, research files, written works, audio-visual materials, and born-digital files.
Born-digital materials have been integrated through the collection into their corresponding series based on content. In some instances, original order has been retained within file directories while some have been arranged chronologically and alphabetically. Original file names have been maintained with the addition of numerical prefixes to correspond to the container list.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Accessible born-digital material within the collection must be viewed within the University Archives reading room during research appointments. All necessary hardware and software will be provided during the appointment to access these materials to the best of NUL's abilities.
Available born-digital materials in this collection are delivered to researchers in born-digital formats. Requests for different access methods, such as those not using computers or with the aid of assistive technologies, must be made in advance of a research appointment to Library staff.
Born-digital materials in this collection were transferred via a write blocker and were disk imaged creating master preservation copies to extract the content without altering any of its data. Preservation files have undergone a checksum algorithm and have been bagged to allow for future data integrity and authenticity checking and repair according to the Library’s digital preservation policy.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Harold and Joan Perkin Papers were donated to the University Archives by their daughter Deborah Perkin on August 28, 2017 as Accession no. 17-210.
Digital preservation actions on born-digital items include virus scan, normalizing file formats, and redacting sensitive information. Additionally, approximately 53 of the 70 floppy disks were not processed as file discovery and transfer was not successful.
- Guide to the Harold (1926-2004) and Joan (1926-2015) Perkin Papers
- Hannah O'Daniel
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository
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