Welcome to the Bertrand Russell
University is home to the scholarly study of Bertrand Russell
(1872–1970), British philosopher, logician, essayist, and
renowned peace advocate.
The Bertrand Russell Archives came
to McMaster Library
in 1968, where they are in the Ready
Division of Archives and Research Collections. Russell's
library is part of the Russell Archives, along with his
correspondence, manuscripts, tapes, films,
photographs, medals and permanently displayed writing desk. Read the fonds level
Send us any queries
you may have about the Russell Archives. The Russell
Research Centre is editing Russell's
Papers and Collected
For synopses of Russell's life and
philosophy, see the entry by Andrew Irvine in the Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy and (for those signed on to campus access or with hard copy) the
entry by Nicholas Griffin in the
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
For dozens of scanned images of documents and
other artifacts relating to Russell's life, and for accompanying
text that introduces readers newly interested in Russell studies
to the Bertrand Russell Archives, visit the Bertrand
Russell Gallery. A collection of cartoons featuring Russell
is at the University of Kent.
The commemorative blue plaque for Russell below is affixed to the building at 34 Russell Chambers, Bury St., London.
For book catalogues of the original holdings,
see B. Feinberg, ed., A Detailed Catalogue of the Archives
of Bertrand Russell (London: Continuum, 1967; a large file). In 1973
another large purchase arrived from Lord Russell's estate.
See K. Blackwell and C. Spadoni, A Detailed Catalogue
of the Second Archives of Bertrand Russell (Bristol:
Thoemmes, 1992). Acquisitions have been made from the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and many other
The Bertrand Russell Archives Catalogue Entry
and Research System, BRACERS,
is an online database of over 132,000 correspondence records, including much rich annotation and quotations from Bertrand Russell's letters. It is undergoing a major revision as
it is being migrated from the campus mainframe to a Library Systems server. The new BRACERS went
live on November 18, 2014. Advanced inquiries have been written, including date searches.
The full text of some letters is available online. Apply to
the Ready Division staff
is a current, dynamic index of over 42,700 persons and groups who corresponded
with Russell, with the total number of letters to and from
each one. Background to BRACERS is here.
QUOTE ON EDUCATION
SCIENCE VS. ARTS?
"I think it's very desirable that the general educated
public should have more understanding of science than it
has at present. But I don't want to see the arts squeezed
out. Not at all."
(BR interviewed by Unesco radio,
24.1.58; tape from BRS Library)
A new speech from 1948 has turned up. Russell warns
the Congress of Europe against promoting "a new Western
European nationalism" rather than Europe's strength,
the pursuit of scientific knowledge. [25.4.04]
A new bust from life, by
sculptor Jonah Jones in 1959. Jones admitted he did
not capture Russell's impishness, but neither, he claimed,
did Epstein. [3.2.04]
Russell writes on philosophy and "The Free Man's
Worship" to Prof. Smith, 3 March
Russell welcomes The
Letters of Sacco and Vanzetti,
NEWS | RELATED
(Above) The Bertrand Russell Society Award for 2018 was made, not as is normal to an individual or organization, but to Bertrand Russell's nachlass itself, his legacy for inspiring philosophical and political enquiry and leadership and for writing clearly, which means honestly.
(Above) This is the new archival reading room in Russell House, opened in June 2018, 50 years after the Bertrand Russell Archives came to McMaster.
(Above) The photo is of a display of caricatures of Russell during the 2018 exhibit in the McMaster Museum of Art.
(Above) The photo is of a newly acquired three-piece suit belonging to Bertrand Russell — very thick and woollen to withstand the Welsh winters! It was also on exhibit in the Art Museum.
(Below) Lord Russell's authorization for McMaster to collect
his papers, to which he transferred the copyright in his unpublished
letters regardless of their location. Click the image for a larger version.