In the earlier sections of this website, we characterised archival collections as the papers created or collected by one individual or institution. We also noted the importance of provenance. If you take a close look at the catalogue of the papers of Rupert Chawner Brooke at King’s College, Cambridge, you will see that it is not consistent with these principles.
Sometimes archivists have to bend the rules when cataloguing a collection like this but not without good reason and they try to do so in a transparent way.
The papers of Rupert Brooke are slightly unusual. His collection at King’s College includes deposits and donations from various people. Correspondence can be found in various parts of the collection. The collection includes items created after Rupert Brooke’s death so he couldn’t possibly have created or collected those. Despite all of these things, we consider it to be an archival collection.
Why is the Brooke collection so problematic?
Look at the ‘Context and Content’ section of the fonds level description of the papers of Rupert Chawner Brooke on our online catalogue, on the Janus website. This describes the complicated administrative history of the collection, which we received in several accessions.
Transcript of a letter from Rupert Brooke to Edward Marsh, 9 March 1915. Archive Centre, King’s College, Cambridge. RCB/S/5/2, 216.