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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Eng 1811

I. A. Richards papers


The collection consists of I. A. Richards papers, primarily concerning teaching Basic English and his work in China.


  • circa 1930s-1970s


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.
This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


5.5 linear feet (6 boxes)
Includes typescripts, teaching tools, manuals, and photographs documenting Richards' use and teaching of Basic English, a method of teaching English as a second language developed by C. K. Ogden. The collection highlights Richards' time teaching in China. Also included in the collection are other compositions by Richards including poetry and longer length works. There is some correspondence regarding book contracts as well as with Christine Gibson, and a few letters from C. K. Ogden.

Biographical / Historical

I. A. Richards was an English educator, literary critic, and rhetorician whose work contributed to the foundations of the New Criticism, a formalist movement in literary theory. Richards was an associate of C.K. Ogden who created Basic English, a controlled language used for teaching English as a second language. Richards promoted its use in China.


Collection is arranged into six series:
  1. Research and teaching
  2. Compositions
  3. Correspondence
  4. Articles about Basic English and I.A. Richards
  5. Photographs
  6. Biographical material

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Other Finding Aids

Detailed inventories are available in the curatorial file.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

84M-50. Unknown source, 1984.

Processing Information

Houghton Manuscript Section, 2017
Link to catalog
Richards, I. A. (Ivor Armstrong), 1893-1979. I. A. Richards papers, circa 1930s-1970s (MS Eng 1811): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
August 17, 2017
Description rules
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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