The collection

The printed Playne Collection comprises some 530 books and pamphlets pertaining to the First World War. The Collection contains monographs about the War, including the time leading up to it (from 1870) and its results, as well as military, social and political history pertaining to the War years; personal diaries and recollections; pacifist writings; and some belles lettres. Many were published during the War or immediate post-War years, with a complete date range from 1895 to 1938. Most are in English, with some in French (e.g. works by Maurice Barrès) and German (e.g. two issues of Die neue Rundschau, Jan.–Feb. 1916). Playne’s own copies of four of her monographs are also present.


The collector

Pacifist and historian Caroline Elizabeth Playne (1857-1948; see ODNB), author of several books examining the role of the media in creating a cultural anticipation and acceptance of war.



Donated by Caroline Playne in 1938.



Catalogued online 2010. For a full overview of the collection, do an author search on “Playne, Caroline E.” as former owner. Most items will also come up via a mixed classmark search on [Playne]. Pamphlets with classmarks beginning “SHL Archives MS1112” are held in the archives and one full working day’s notice is required for access. The remainder of the collection is held off-site and material requires 48 hours (excluding weekends) to be fetched.


Related archives

Caroline Elizabeth Playne papers (MS1112).