Richard Crossman was born in 1907. Member of Oxford city council, and leader of the Labour group, 1934-1940; German propaganda specialist, Special Operations, 1940-1941; Labour Member of Parliament for East Coventry, 1945-1974; member of Labour Party National Executive Committee, 1952-1967, and Chairman, 1960-1961; Minister of Housing and Local Government, 1964-1966; Leader of the House of Commons, 1966-1968; Secretary of State for Social Services, 1968-1970; editor of the New Statesman, 1970-1972; author of political and philosophical works, and the posthumously published political diaries. He died in 1974.
References: Michael Stenton and Stephen Lees, 'Who's Who of British Members of Parliament volume 4: 1945-1979', (Sussex, 1981) Anthony Howard, 'Crossman. The pursuit of power' (Jonathan Cape, 1990) Richard Crossman, 'The diaries of a cabinet minister. Volume 1, Minister of Housing 1964-1966' (Hamish Hamilton and Jonathan Cape, 1975) Richard Crossman, 'The diaries of a cabinet minister. Volume 2, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, 1966-1968' (Hamish Hamilton and Jonathan Cape, 1976). Richard Crossman, 'The diaries of a cabinet minister. Volume 3, Secretary of State for Social Services, 1968-1970' (Hamish Hamilton and Jonathan Cape, 1977). Hugo Young, 'The Crossman Affair' (Hamish Hamilton and Jonathan Cape, in association with the Sunday Times, 1976) Editor Janet Morgan, 'The backbench diaries of Richard Crossman' (Hamish Hamilton and Jonathan Cape, London, 1981).
Correspondence and subject files, 1926-1974; Crossman's publications, 1937-1973; papers re: Crossman, by other people, 1923-1976; diaries, 1928-1974; press cuttings, 1945-1974; photographs. The deposit also includes some of the papers of his third wife Anne, his father-in-law A. P. McDougall, and his literary agent, Helga Greene. These have all been placed in category 6. Crossman's letters to his second wife, Zita, and her replies have been kept together in category 3.
Crossman arranged his papers in various subject / correspondent files and that arrangement has been kept, with some slight modifications for consistency.
A copy of this catalogue is available at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's 'National Inventory of Documentary Sources'. An authority record exists for Richard Crossman (GB 0152 AAR0807).
The original diary tapes were recorded on reel-to-reel tapes. They were transferred to cassettes for research use and now digital copies are available via this on-line catalogue.
Permission to read Crossman's correspondence with his second wife, Zita Baker is subject to a copyright agreement. Crossman's consititutency correspondence (MSS.154/3/COV/1-10) is available for research from 2005, but these files will need to be checked for sensitive personal data. Researchers wishing to use these files should contact the Centre for further information in advance of a visit. The rest of the collection is open to research.
MSS.154 @ 20/14/6-20/15/9
706 @ 217/1/6
CD copies @ 217/4/3
The Centre also holds: the papers of Tam Dalyell, Crossman's parliamentary private secretary and biographer; personal letters and postcards to Iris Lemare, musician, from Richard Crossman, 1928-1934. Some of Crossman's Palestine Commission papers are deposited in the Middle East Centre, St. Antony's College, Oxford, ref. DS126.4.