Plowden (Lady Bridget) Archive

Subject strengths: Education, Social History

The papers of the distinguished public servant Lady Plowden (1910-2000) were generously gifted to Newcastle University Library in 2003 by the Plowden family.

Held in Special Collections, Lady Plowden's papers are an extensive and rich resource reflecting her many areas of concern.  Lady Plowden held a number of high-profile public roles in the spheres of education reform and television broadcasting, most notably as Chairman of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England), 1963 – 1967, Vice-Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors, 1970 – 1975, and Chairman of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), 1975 – 1980.  A large and varied number of public roles followed, many of which retained this focus on primary and pre-school education reform as well as the promotion of high-quality television broadcasting.  Lady Plowden’s interests were wide however and these papers also reflect Lady Plowden’s roles within organisations related to Romany and Traveller education and rights, adult education, the care and resettlement of offenders, the role of voluntary work, young adult unemployment and training, and women and employment.

Lady Plowden (nee Richmond) was a niece of Gertrude Bell and a cousin of the Trevelyans of Wallington.  An additional deposit of material made by the Plowden family comprise of a number of family photograph albums and correspondence files relating to the Richmond, Bell and Trevelyan families.

Collection Name and Collection Reference Code:

Collection Name: Plowden (Lady Bridget) Archive

Archive Ref Code: GB186/BP

Date Range of Material

1870 - 2000

Type of Material

Personal archive of Lady Bridget Plowden

Size of Collection

389 boxes

How To Order Items From This Collection

Please use the finding aid below to search through a list of the individual items we have within this collection.

If you find an item you would like to consult in the Special Collections reading room, simply make a note of the reference number and title of the item(s) you are interested in (for example BP/02/04 Reference Files - Press Cuttings).

You can then place your order by linking to our Request Form

Finding Aid

Archival catalogue available via the Archives Hub.

Scanning and Photocopy Service

If you are unable to visit our reading room, we also have a scanning and photocopying service.

Other Resources

For the archive of Lady Plowden's aunt Gertrude Bell, see Bell (Gertrude) Archive.

For the archive of Lady Plowden's uncle Charles Philips Trevelyan, see Trevelyan (Charles Philips) Archive.

Material from this collection was used in our Treasures of the Month feature for July 2010.