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Papers of Dr. Geoffrey D. Carnall

 Fonds — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-552

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of lectures on rhetoric, 1960-1964, and, transcript and correspondence on a teach-in on chemical and biological warfare, 24 January 1969, tape transcripts.

The bulk of his papers were donated in 2015 (accession code E2015.91). They include correspondence with his colleagues and fellow activists as well as a few personal letters, lectures notes, proofs of publications, and pamphlets, newspaper cuttings, and correspondence relating to political causes he was supporting such as nuclear disarmament.


  • Creation: 1950s-1990s


Conditions Governing Access

Some of these papers are covered by Data Protection legislation and will need to be screened before consultation. Please contact the repository in advance.

Biographical / Historical

Geoffrey D. Carnall has taken the degrees of M.A. and B.Litt. He was appointed as a Lecturer in English Literature at Edinburgh University in 1960 and in 2003 was still an Honorary Fellow at The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.

In 1969, Carnall initiated, with Martin Pollock, the then Professor of Molecular Biology, a teach-in at Edinburgh University on the topic of Chemical and Biological Warfare (a teach-in being 'a prolonged and public discussion on a matter of national concern' and a concept originally growing out of the nature and conduct of the Vietnam War). Key experts came to Edinburgh, including a Government Minister and senior staff from the Research Establishment at Porton Down. Mr. Tam Dalyell (elected Edinburgh University Rector in 2003) was also present as a speaker, as was Mr. V. G. Filatov, a Counsellor at the (then) Soviet Embassy.

Carnall has published Robert Southey and his age: the development of a conservative mind (1960, Robert Southey (1964), and To keep the peace (1965). He co-edited The Impeachment of Warren Hastings: papers from a bicentenary commemoration (1989), and he edited and completed John Butt's The mid-eighteenth century (1979) and Marjorie Sykes An Indian tapestry: Quaker threads in the history of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; from the seventeenth century to independence (1997). With others he was involved in The representation of business in English literature (2000). His most recent work had been Gandhi’s Interpreter: a life of Horace Alexander (2010). He has also published many essays.

Geoffrey Douglas Carnall died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on 20 February 2015, and he was cremated at Mortonhall on 27 February 2015.


1 folder, miscellaneous bundles of typescript, 1 envelope with lectures.

5 boxes

1 folder

1 envelope

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Warfare lecture, acquired from G. D. Carnall, April 1987 and September 1994, Accession nos. E87.58, E94.72. Lectures, rhetoric, acquired from G. D. Carnall, July 1995, Accession no. E95.48. E94.72 (Teach-in on chemical and biological warfare... additional file) has been placed alongside the content of E87.58 (Teach-in on chemical and biological warfare... transcript and correspondence). E95.48 (Lectures on Rhetoric).

The bulk of his papers were donated after his death in 2015. Accession no. E2015.91.

Separated Materials

Books from the library of Geoffrey Douglas Carnall were donated to the Library in 2016, under the accession no. SC-Acc-2016-0160. They have been catalogued under the shelfmark: Carnall.1 - Carnall.51.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 10 December 2015. Description updated by Aline Brodin in December 2021.

Papers of Dr. Geoffrey D. Carnall, 1950s-1960s
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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