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Papers of Irene J. Young

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1657
The collection is composed of school study notes and educational certificates 1929-1937, diplomas and degrees, private tutoring notes and papers, personal correspondence of Irene Young, draft material for publications and autobiography, correspondence with, and papers relating to, her late husband Reginald Sydney Brown (1919-1982).
Box 1
  1. 1 x folder composed of: 5 x certificates of the Royal Drawing Society, Irene Young, St. Margaret's Convent School and Canaan Park School, 1929-1932; 1 x certificate of the College of Preceptors, Irene Jessie Young, 1930, English language and literature, Scripture, Drawing, History; 2 x certificates of the Edinburgh Musical (Competition) Festival, Irene Young, vocal solo, vocal duets, 1933; 5 x certificates, of the British Empire Shakespeare Society, Irene Young, 1933-1935; and, 1 x Higher Education Scotland Leaving Certificate, Irene J. Young, 1937
  2. 2 x certificates - Canaan School, Edinburgh - Certificate of Merit - Irene Young - Session 1930-1931 and Session 1931-1932
  3. 1 x certificate - Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music - I. Young. Grade IV Elocution - Pass with Honourable Mention
  4. 1 x certificate - Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music, London - Irene J. Young. Grade II Elocution. Final Certificate - Pass Certificate, Edinburgh, 1931
  5. 1 x certificate - Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music, London - Irene J. Young. Grade III Elocution. Final Certificate - Pass Certificate, Edinburgh, 1932
  6. 1 x certificate - Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music, London - Irene J. Young. Grade IV Elocution. Final Certificate - Pass Certificate, Edinburgh, 1933
  7. 1 x certificate - Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music, London - Irene J. Young. Grade V Elocution. Final Certificate - Pass Certificate, Edinburgh, 1934
  8. 1 x certificate - Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music, London - Irene J. Young. Grade VI Elocution. Final Certificate - Pass Certificate, Edinburgh, 1935
  9. 1 x folder composed of: 1 x notes from Esdaile College, 1936-1937, English literature
  10. 4 x notebooks with ms notes of subjects taken at Esdaile College: Elocution, 2 x volumes 1933-1934 onwards; Verse anthology, ca. 1935; and, Prose anthology, ca. 1936
  11. 1 x folder composed of: 1 x programme for Graduation Ceremonial, 3 July 1942; and, 3 x University of Edinburgh pass and class certificates, Irene Young, 1937-1942, signed by W. M. Calder, O. K. Schramm, and J. Dover Wilson
  12. 2 x degree certificates in the name of Irene J. Young 1942, and Leslie George Cairns 1944, with programme for Graduation Ceremonial, 22 January 1944
  13. 1 x folder composed of: 1 x Pitman's Shorthand-Typist certificate, Rate of 80 words a minute, 10 July 1947; and, 1 x notebook with ms notes on shorthand
  14. 1 x folder composed of: 1 x notes from Esdaile College, 1936-1937, English literature
Box 2:
  1. 13 x notebooks - English literature - University course notes
  2. 1 x folder - Miscellaneous English literature notes
Box 3:
  1. 10 x notebooks - English literature - University course notes
Box 4:
  1. 21 x notebooks - English literature - University course notes
Box 5:
  1. 13 x notebooks - Spanish literature and history - University course notes
Box 6:
  1. 9 x notebooks - English language, Dialects, Anglo-Saxon - University notes
  2. 1 x folder - English language and literature notes
Box 7:
  1. 6 x notebooks - Subsidiary subjects: History, British history, Roman history, Latin - University notes
  2. 1 x folder - British history notes
Box 8:
  1. Notes in connection with private tutorial work.
  2. 1 x folder/file: English notes - Chaucer, Prose, Keats, Burns, Miscellaneous
  3. 1 x folder/file: Shakespeare - General, Tragedy, History, Comedy, Questions
  4. 2 x folders: ms notes, English
Box 9:
  1. 1 x folder: Latin tutorial notes and handouts
  2. 1 x folder: ts dissertation by Brown (1967) on Alfred Edward Housman, with note by Iain G. Brown
  3. 1 x folder: ts and ms notes and essay (1960s) on George Bernard Shaw, with note by Iain G. Brown
  4. 2 x folders: various ms/ts notes
  5. 1 x draft letter, ms, undated
Box 10:
  1. 1 x album: Created by Irene J. Young and remembering years at Edinburgh University, 1937-1942, and moments of wartime service,1942-1944, the album in maroon buckram case had been lent (along with correspondence) to the Imperial War Museum to be displayed in the exhibition, 'Forces Sweethearts', 1993
  2. 1 x folder: Correspondence (4 x letters 1992-1993) from the Imperial War Museum relating to the exhibition, 'Forces Sweethearts', 1993
  3. 1 x folder: Invitation to attend the 'Forces Sweethearts' exhibition at the Imperial War Museum
  4. 1 x folder: Reference (1947), correspondence (1950), and notes relating to career in the Civil Service, St. Andrew's House, Edinburgh, between 1944-1946
  5. 1 x folder: Particulars and qualifications of Irene Cairns; Testimonials and references from Edinburgh University staff, Arthur Melville Clark, George Kitchin, J. Dover Wilson, 1946; Ms letter from J. Dover Wilson, 26 May 1946; Ts reference signed by J. Dover Wilson, 26 May 1946; Ts reference signed by George Kitchin, 30 May 1946; Testimonial/reference from Principal, Secretarial College, London, 1947; Testimonial/reference from Dept., of Agriculture for Scotland, St. Andrew's House, 1947
  6. 1 x folder photographs: Sheet of passport-sized graduation photographs, 1 x larger size photograph, and 2 x additional smaller ones, Irene J. Young
  7. 1 x folder: Collection of 16 x issues (some duplicates) of 'The Esdaile Old Girls' Chronicle', or 'Chronicle of Esdaile', 1963-1981
  8. 1 x folder: Material relating to Esdaile School and the Old Girls' network, including Hallowe'en play, 1935, 'The Great White Sale'
  9. 1 x folder: Lists, Esdaile Old Girls' Address List; and, Esdaile OGU List of Members, August 2011
  10. 1 x folder: Material relating to a period in Paris, 1946, postcards etc; and, to a period in London, Crosby Hall (Residence of the International Federation of University Women), 1946-47
  11. 1 x folder: Material relating to a period in South Africa, 1947, including ts piece entitled 'African journey' for the 'Esdaile Chronicle', and ms letter from 'Uncle' Ferguson (uncle by marriage)
  12. 1 x folder: Certificate of Long Service and Significant Contribution (to the National Trust) October 2004, and 1 x group photograph celebrating the event
Box 11:
  1. 1 x diary/note-book: Notes, ms, kept by Young, containing things said by Cairns, from Summer 1938 to Spring 1940, along with newspaper cutting of piece by Leslie George Cairns aged 17, on seeing Coronation Procession, 1937
  2. 1 x folder: Letters and postcards, ms, 27 December 1937 to 16 January 1940, from Leslie G. Cairns while at University, together with additional printed material
  3. 1 x folder: Letters, ms, 5 May to 8 September 1940, from Leslie G. Cairns, on leaving for the army and Uniacke Barracks at Harrogate, and then Yeadon, and at OCTU at Ilkley
  4. 1 x folder: Letters, ms, 10 September to 15 December 1940, from Leslie G. Cairns, Officer Cadet, Royal Artillery (commissioned into RA, December 1940), and jeweller receipt/invoice for blood-stone signet ring
  5. 1 x folder: Letters, ms, 6 January to 16 March 1941, from Leslie G. Cairns, 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Artillery, 152nd Field Regiment Royal Artillery, Ayrshire Yeomanry, while at Montrose, and jeweller receipts/invoices for diamond ring and 'gold safety'
Box 12:
  1. 1 x folder: Letters, ms, 18 March 1941 to 29 June 1941, from Leslie G. Cairns, 152nd Field Regiment RA, Ayrshire Yeomanry, while in Caithness
  2. 1 x folder: Letters, ms, 1 July to 18 November 1941, from Leslie G. Cairns, 152nd Field Regiment RA, Ayrshire Yeomanry, while in Caithness
  3. 1 x folder: 'Map' of Edinburgh with wry notes on local and Scottish customs and manners which might have been obtained by Cairns from a Polish officer during a period of coastal defence service, 1941-42
  4. 1 x folder: Letters, ms, 17 November 1941 to 23 March 1942, from Leslie G. Cairns, while with 152nd Field Regiment RA, Ayrshire Yeomanry, in Epping, Essex, and during the beginning of estrangement and broken
  5. 1 x folder: Letters, ms, 23 January to 19 October 1943, from Leslie G. Cairns, while with 11th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, and 137/166th Newfoundland Field Regiment in North Africa, transfer to Parachute Regiment, and home for training, with 2 x brief notes to 'Mother', August 1942
  6. 1 x folder: Letters, ms, 14 November 1943 to 8 June 1944, from Leslie G. Cairns, while on Parachute Regiment training, Chesterfield, and then on transfer to the SAS Regiment training in Ayrshire, and including a last letter 8 June 1944... their last meeting had been in May 1944
  7. Files relating to the disappearance and presumed death in action of Lieutenant L G Cairns; to subsequent commemoration of LGC; and on research into his possible fate and the possible discovery, in Normandy in 2015, of the wreck on the aircraft taking his and his men on their secret mission to East-Central France (THESE ARE STILL IN USE BY THE DEPOSITOR)
  8. 1 x folder: Material relating to the 50th Anniversary of Normandy Landings in 1994 attended by Irene J. Young and her son. Leslie George Cairns is commemorated on the memorial to the Missing at nearby Bayeux. Material includes programmes of events and other ephemera, and commemorative newspaper
  9. 1 x folder: Letter, ts, from Irene Young to Mr. John Major (UK Prime Minister), on the matter of a tribunal judgement, 9 April 1994
Box 13:
  1. 1 x folder: Material, 'Enigma Variations', ms, relating to an early attempt by Young at an autobiographical work, 1979 (re-started again in 1982) - intention was to focus on the war, childhood, school and university
  2. 1 x folder: Material, Enigma Variations, ms, notes and drafts
  3. 1 x folder: Correspondence, ts, with Mainstream Publishing, Robert Hale Ltd., and others, concerning the publication of Enigma Variations and other matters arising, November 1988 to September 1999 and undated; and, author's questionnaire from Mainstream, and Agreement with Mainstream in 1989, and with RNIB (Talking Books), 1990
  4. 1 x folder: Proofs of Enigma Variations
  5. 1 x folder: Publicity material, and reviews, Enigma Variations
Box 14:
  1. 1 x folder: Correspondence 1991-2001 concerning a 2nd edition of Enigma Variations, along with text and drafts of a 2000 Postscript
  2. 1 x folder: Correspondence received in response to the publication of Enigma Variations - August 1989 to June 1990
  3. 1 x folder: Correspondence received in response to the publication of Enigma Variations - July 1990 to September 1991
  4. 1 x folder: Correspondence received in response to the publication of Enigma Variations - October 1991 to October 2013
  5. 2 x copies: Hardback Enigma Variations, by Irene Young. London: Mainstream Publishing, 1990, with ms corrections, annotations; Paperback edition Enigma Variations: Love, War and Bletchley Park, by Irene Young. London & Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 2000
Outsize material
  1. 1 x copy of setting of Rupert Brooke's The Dead, 1969, dedicated to the memory of Leslie George Cairns, by Dr. Gilbert Kennedy (1916-2000) a cousin of Irene Jessie Young. The setting was commissioned for the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, 1969
Additional material donated in December 2017 (boxes 15 to 20, awaiting more detailed listing):
  1. Many files of family and personal correspondence.
  2. Material relating to life in South Africa, to second marriage; and to return to Britain.
  3. Material relating to unpublished autobiography ‘Second Spring’.
  4. Section of poetry manuscripts and drafts, typescripts and verse published as A Two-Coloured Skein (2017).
  5. Correspondence with, and papers relating to, Reginald Sydney Brown (1919-1982): family correspondence (three files); educational papers; sporting achievements; professional career in Edinburgh; correspondence in advance of retirement; letters of condolence on death, 1982, etc.
  6. Files relating to Reginald Sydney Brown’s war and to his time on the run in Italy as an escaped prisoner of war, 1943-44 (Still in use by depositor).

Dates

  • 1929-1969

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Some material is restricted due to Data Protection legislation. Researchers will need to fill out a Data Protection undertaking form to access the rest of this material. Please contact the repository in advance if you would like to consult this collection.

Extent

20 boxes

Biographical / Historical

Irene Jessie Young was born in Edinburgh on 16 February 1919 and died in Edinburgh on 7 June 2017. She attended St. Margaret's Convent School, Canaan Park School, St Denis's School, and then Esdaile, which was a College founded by the Rev David Esdaile as an educational establishment for the daughters of Ministers of the Church of Scotland and Professors in the Universities of Scotland.
In October 1937 she matriculated at the University of Edinburgh, and graduated with the degree of M.A. with Honours in English Language and Literature, 3 July 1942.
Irene J. Young married Lt. Leslie George Cairns on 29 December 1943. Cairns was also an Edinburgh University graduate - M.A. (Hons) History (Unclassed War Privilege), January 1944. He had been commissioned into the Royal Artillery and served in the UK, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia where he transferred to the Parachute Regiment and then to the Special Air Service Regiment (Army Air Corps), Lt. Cairns was presumed killed in action in June 1944, aged 24, when the aircraft taking him and his men on a secret mission to east central France was lost in circumstances still unexplained.
Irene J. Young also served during the Second World War, working in the Foreign Office at Bletchley Park. Later on she transferred to work with the Home Civil Service in the Scottish Office, in Edinburgh.
After the war, Irene J. Cairns attended a Secretarial Course at Marlborough Gate, London, and she had considered reading for a B.Litt. at Oxford looking at Metaphysical or Cavalier poets. She also considered work with the British Council.
She then went to South Africa where she met and married Irene J. Cairns re-married Reginal Sydney Brown, a chartered accountant and University of Natal graduate, becoming Irene J. Brown. They left South Africa in 1953 and made their home in Edinburgh. Their only son is Dr Iain Gordon Brown, MA (Hons) Edinburgh 1972, who became Principal Curator of Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland. Irene Brown was a private tutor in Latin and English, worked briefly for an Edinburgh publisher and for ten years in a departmental library at Edinburgh University. Her war memoir, Enigma Variations, was published in 1990, with a second expanded edition in 2000. She died on 7 June 2017. Her son chose, edited and published a volume of her verse, with a memoir, in 2017: A Two-Coloured Skein: Selected Poems.

Physical Location

CLX-A-1480 to CLX-A-1488 (Boxes 1 to 9); CLX-A-1540 to CLX-A-1544 9Boxes 10 to 14); CLX-A-376 to CLX-A-381 (Boxes 15 to 20); and CLX-D-29 (1 item in outsize box).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection acquired by donation: September 2015. Accession no: E2015.61; March 2016., Accession SC-Acc-2016-0052; and December 2017, Accession no SC-Acc-2017-0244.
Title
Papers of Irene J. Young

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Centre for Research Collections
Edinburgh University Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(1)131 650 8379