Collection: Maurice Barley Collection

1950s - 1980s
Collection containing Photographic, Graphic and Textual material
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The collection contains over 5000 prints and negatives taken by or collected by Maurice W Barley between the 1950s and 1980s. They depict primarily domestic and vernacular architecture in England with a particular emphasis to Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Coverage includes: interiors and details of mouldings and timber-framing, as well as exteriors.

The collection contains 2 main series: packets containing prints arranged by county; and negatives with associated lists and contact prints arranged by photographic film number. There are few items of correspondence between Barley and the RCHME, and six 6x4 negatives.

The photography in the collection is almost exclusively black and white and the coverage of counties and individual towns and villages is rarely comprehensive.

There are a few exceptions: Nottingham in the 1970s is well recorded through a sequence of 35mm strip negatives, and the town of Spalding, Lincolnshire is the subject if a survey containing over 60 prints. There are also some 25 houses, particularly farmhouses, in Derbyshire which are accompanied by small sketch plans as well as prints.

A handlist of the collection is attached.

Archival History

Professor Maurice Willmore Barley was born in 1909. He joined University of Nottingham in 1945 where he was made Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics in 1962, Reader in Archaeology in 1965 and the University's first Chair of Archaeology in 1971. Professor Barley was an authority in English vernacular domestic and farmhouse architecture and was a Commissioner for the RCHME. He died in 1991.

The prints in packets 1 to 300 were given to the NMR in 2008 by Professor Barley's son. The remainder of the collection was deposited with the NMR in 1991.

As well as the items in this collection, Maurice Barley lent hundreds of negatives and prints to the NMR of which copies were added to the Red Box Collection. He was also involved in a number of architectural and archaeological surveys in the East Midlands and drawings associated with these are believed to be in the NMR's measured drawings series. There are two files containing extensive correspondence between Barley and the RCHME from 1947 to 1989 which document these activities.


This Collection is divided into 4 Child Series
This Collection contains the following materials:
Photograph (Negative): 401
Photograph (Negative): 6
Photograph (Postcard - Photographic): 80
Photograph (Print): 5,990
Photograph (Print): 100
Sketch Plan: 25
Correspondence: 8
Extract/Cutting: 14
List: 72


© Historic England Archive

People & Organisations

Creator of Archive: Barley, Maurice Willmore