StorageSiteUCL Institute of Education
Reference Number WEF
TitleRecords of the World Education Fellowship
DescriptionRecords of the World Education Fellowship's including papers of the international headquarters of the Fellowship, 1921-1995 (WEF/A-B), Records of the World Education Fellowship including headquarters papers, 1921-1995; papers regarding the regional and national section of the Fellowship, 1932-1994; papers regarding conferences and other events, 1927-1995; project files, 1942-1985; papers regarding the Fellowship's relationship with UNESCO, 1946-1994; audio recordings, 1960-1971; and publications, 1920-1994. Also includes the records of the English New Education Fellowship, c.1940s-1980s, including minutes, correspondence, administrative and subject files and publications and the minutes of the Home and School Council of Great Britain, 1929-1950s.
Extent90 boxes
AdminHistoryThe World Education Fellowship, founded as the New Education Fellowship in 1921, is an international voluntary and non-partisan organisation, which is open to educators, members of associated professions and anyone else interested in education at all levels. Although the Fellowship has embraced a wide range of individual philosophies, the central focus has been on child-centred education, social reform through education, democracy, world citizenship, international understanding and the promulgation of world peace. Many famous thinkers and educationists have been involved with the Fellowship and it has forged close links with academic institutions, including the Institute of Education, UCL, and with international organisations. It is also a UNESCO non-governmental organisation. The Fellowship also has had national sections in countries around the world.

The origins of the Fellowship can be traced back to 1915 and the formation of the 'Fraternity of Education', a group of educators, including Beatrice Ensor, who believed that the aim of education was to enable teachers to understand the factors involved in developing of human being and their relationships to tackle the problems which were seen to be threatening civilisation. In 1920 Ensor also began to edit a journal called 'Education for the New Era' for the promotion of reconstruction in education. The New Education Fellowship was formed at the conference of the Fraternity in 1921 in Calais, France, to connect isolated new educators around the world and to provide a forum for discussion on new education techniques. The Fellowship would hold international conference around the world and the 'New Era' was adopted as the journal of the Fellowship. The Fellowship was administered by an international council who initially only met occasionally; an international headquarters based in London comprising Beatrice Ensor and her secretary Clare Soper; and two European bureaus directed by Adolphe Ferriére and Elisabeth Rotten. The organisation of the Fellowship was to be quite flexible and members were encouraged to set up autonomous regional sections in there own country.

The organisation quickly grew and by 1929 the administrative body was soon no longer adequate. The Consultative Committee was appointed to be the administrative body of the Fellowship in 1929, and the international council remained as an advisory body. Clare Soper was also officially recognised as the International Secretary. In 1931 the Consultative Committee was renamed the Executive Board. In 1932 the International Headquarters moved to 29 Tavistock Square, where they established weekly meetings for members and overseas visitors know as 'World Fellow Teas'.

By 1939 the work of the Fellowship had been suppressed in totalitarian countries in Europe, the European bureaus were closed and the international conferences were abandoned. Though the London headquarters were destroyed in a 1940 bombing raid, the Fellowship continued to function and keep in touch with members. In 1946 the headquarters moved into 1 Park Crescent and tried to rebuilt the organisation and reform many of the closed sections. Many of the members of the Fellowship were involved in the creation of UNESCO and a Fellowship became one of the United Nations' non-governmental organisations in the early 1950s. Clare Soper retired in 1951 and James Annand became the international secretary of the Fellowship.

The Fellowship began to decline in the 1950s as many sections were closed or no longer paid subscriptions to the international headquarters, and in the early 1960s 1 Park Crescent was abandoned and the Fellowship was administered from the homes of its officers. James Annand retired in 1962 and Yvonne Moyse replaced him as the general secretary of the Fellowship. In 1966 the Fellowship was completely reorganised as the World Education Fellowship. Yvonne Moyse retired in 1973 and her role was taken by Rosemary Crommelin who continued to work for the Fellowship the 1990s.

The English New Education Fellowship was founded in 1927, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Home and School Council and the English Association of New Schools. The section was closed in 1984 when it merged with the Scottish Section to form the Great Britain Section of the Fellowship.
CustodialHistoryThe records were originally held by the International Headquarters of the Fellowship and many of the early records were destroyed when the building was hit during a World War II bombing raid. From 1947-1960 the records were housed in 1 Park Crescent, London, until they were transferred to the homes of Jim Annand, the International Secretary until 1962; Yvonne Moyse, the General Secretary, 1962-1973. On the retirement of the secretary it was decided that the historic records should have a permanent home and were transferred to the Institute of Education library. The first accession was catalogued and sorted in 1974 by Routledge Associates and the catalogue was produced by the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. In Dec 2008 it was decided to carry out an audit of the collection so the later accessions could be catalogued. This was completed in July 2009.

Some early records were also held by William Boyd who wrote an unpublished history of the Fellowship. In 1962 the papers were transferred to Wyatt Rawson who used them to write his history of the new education movement. Shortly after his work was published, it appears that Rawson destroyed the records, including Boyd's original transcript (see WEF/A/II/85 and WEF/B/1/6/1).
AcquisitionThe collection was initially deposited with the Institute in 1973. Further deposits were made by the WEF in 1981, 1983, 1990, and 1995. The records of the English Education Fellowship were deposited in 1983 by the chairman of the Section.
ArrangementThe first accession was catalogued in 1973 following the filing system of the retiring secretary of the Fellowship. The files were number sequentially which made it impossible to integrate later accessions into the catalogue. In Dec 2009 it was decided to add an additional level to the catalogue to help the integration of later accessions. Therefore, all the records received n 1973 can now be found in Subfonds A and the only change to the reference numbers is the addition of an A to the reference number. For example WEF/I/32 is now WEF/A/I/32. Records created by the International Headquarters and sent to the Archives after 1973 have been catalogued as subfonds B.

Subfonds WEF/ A is structured into the following series:
A/I: Headquarters' Papers
A/II: Section Papers
A/III: Conferences
A/IV: Projects
A/V: UNESCO administrative papers
A/VI: Tapes
A/VII: Headquarters' Publications and Pamphlets
A/VIII: Headquarters Library.

Subfonds WEF/B is structured into the following series mirroring those in subfonds A:
B/1 Headquarters papers
B/2 Sections papers
B/3 Conferences
B/4 Projects
B/5 UNESCO papers
B/6: Headquarters' Publications

The material received from the English Education Fellowship is still to be catalogued but has been provisionally listed as subfonds C. The records of the Home and School Council can be found in Subfonds D.
AccessConditionsOpen, subject to signature of Reader Application Form. Papers are subject to 30 years closure dates, except to members of the WEF or with written permission. In cases where the papers contain personal data of living persons the files are subject to closure under Data Protection Act (1998).
Related MaterialThe Institute of Education Library holds almost a full set of the journal 'New Era'.
Records of some of the sections are now held in archive repositories, including the records of the Progressive Education Association/American Education Association (the US Section of the Fellowship), 1924-1961, are at the University of Illinois Archives (Ref: 10/06/020); the records of Werkgemeenschap voor Vernieuwing van Opvoeding, Onderwijs en Maatschappij (Dutch Section of the Fellowship), 1936-1980, at the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam; the records of the Tasmanian Section of the Fellowship, 1946-[1988], at the Archives Office of Tasmania (Ref: NS1341); and the records of the Victorian Section of the Fellowship, 1935-[1977] at the State Library of Victoria, (Ref: MS 10915).
FindingAidsPaper list; CALM.

Show related Persons records.

Add to My Items