Fonds RC0275 - Edith Russell fonds

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Edith Russell fonds

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  • 1767-1977 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

3.8 m of textual records and graphic material.

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Biographical history

Edith Finch was born to Edward Bronson Finch, a physician, and his wife, Delia, on 5 November 1900 in New York city. She was educated at Bryn Mawr college and St. Hilda's College, Oxford. Returning to Bryn Mawr, she was employed from time to time as an instructor of English literature, but she never became a permanent member of the faculty. She published biographies of Wilfred Scawen Blunt in 1938 and Carey Thomas, a president of Bryn Mawr, in 1947. She was a close friend of Lucy Martin Donnelly, English professor at Bryn Mawr, and a friend of both Bertrand Russell and his first wife Alys. She married Bertrand Russell in December 1952 and supported him in his many social activist causes. She died on 1 January 1978.

Custodial history

Scope and content

There have been two accruals. The contents of the first accrual mainly concerns Edith's life after her marriage to Russell while the second is about Edith's life before her marriage.

Notes area

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Immediate source of acquisition

The first accual (Rec. Acq. 967) was acquired on 24 June 1985. Most of the accrual arrived at McMaster University on 11 June 1986. The second accrual (Rec. Acq. 1685) was acquired on 31 November 2012. Both accruals were acquired from the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation. The second accrual contains materials that were supposed to form part of the first accrual but could not be located at that time.


The first accrual has been arranged in the following series: correspondence, books by Edith Russell, manuscripts by Edith Russell, manuscripts by others, personal documents, diaries, photographs, greeting cards, miscellaneous, Lucy Donnelly papers. The correspondence is arranged into the following sub-series: general, family, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., travel, large print books, financial/legal, domestic, Finch genealogy, press clippings, Bertrand Russell: his correspondence, death of Bertrand Russell. There are 38 photographs in the first accrual. The second accrual is arranged into the following series: correspondence; photographs; research materials, notebooks, artwork and printed materials. Both accruals contain Lucy Donnelly materials.

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There are no access restrictions.

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Finding aids

First accrual: Online Finding Aid
Second accrual: Online Finding Aid

Associated materials

A will signed by Edith Finch on 4 May 1949 is in the Anton Felton fonds, Box 5.66, File 8.


Further accruals are not expected.

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