Fonds RC0275 - Edith Russell fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Edith Russell fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • 1767-1978 (Creation)
    Finch, Edith

Physical description area

Physical description

6.05 m of textual records and graphic material.

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Name of creator


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

Physical condition

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 third accrual (Rec. Acq. 1843) was acquired from the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.


The first accrual has been arranged into eight series: Correspondence; Manuscripts; Diaries, Licences, Certificates, Forms, Personal and Financial Documents; Photographs; House Maintenance; Lucy Donnelly; Finch Genealogy; Press related and printed materials.

The second accrual is arranged into the following series: correspondence; photographs; research materials, notebooks, artwork and printed materials. Both accruals contain Lucy Donnelly materials.

The series for the third accrual are as follows: correspondence; manuscripts; address and telephone books, lists and cards, diaries, domestic, medical, hair clippings; travel, photographs, artwork; legal; financial; organizations; estate of Bertrand Russell; printed and published materials.

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions.

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Finding aids

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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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

S. Turcon, 3rd accrual, 2023.

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