Old Ashmolean staff

From 1901 onwards, Murray’s two co-editors Bradley and Craigie, and also Onions, co-editor from 1914, worked on the OED in the Old Ashmolean (now the Museum of the History of Science) in Broad Street, in the centre of Oxford. (Murray and his team laboured away in his famous Scriptorium in the garden of his house at 78 Banbury Road, about a mile to the north; see K. M. E. Murray 1977: 287, Brewer 2007b: 24-6). This undated photo of Old Ashmolean staff, from the OED archives, gives some idea of the working environment, which looks scholarly and well-organized: reference books fill a series of shelves, with those perhaps most consulted set out in orderly array on tables; staff are well-spaced but close enough to talk to each other easily; a notice board at the front right displays slips and other documents – including, one might fancifully hope, Bayliss’s spoof slip for radium. The high ceilings and ionic pillars give a sense of grandeur to the enterprise.

For identification of individuals see text below the photo.

L. F. Powell is seated third from the left, with P. T. J. Dadley standing behind him and slightly to the left, holding an open book. Craigie is front right, with Bradley behind him to the left and then Onions behind and in between them. Walter Worrall is behind and to the right of Onions.

Last updated on 29 January 2019