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Axon Papers

Date range: 1864-1949

Number of items:

Papers of Dr William Edward Armytage Axon (1846–1913) and his son Ernest A. Axon (1868–1947). W. E. A. Axon was a librarian in Manchester Free Libraries (1861–74), and a journalist on the staff of the Manchester Guardian (1874–1905). He had a remarkably wide range of interests, as a bibliographer, local historian, folklorist, vegetarian, temperance campaigner and social reformer. He was also a Unitarian of very liberal tendencies.

The archive contains some 6,600 letters to him arising from his various interests. Correspondents include, amongst many others: Walter Bagehot, Isabella Banks, Lydia Becker, Ford Madox Brown, Edward Carpenter, Frances Power Cobbe, W. P. Crozier, Millicent Garrett Fawcett, William, Julia and Meta Gaskell, Henry Guppy, Samuel Laycock, John Howard Nodal, Isaac Pitman, and C. P. Scott.

There is also a collection of some 600 autographs of famous contemporaries sent to or collected by him.

Ernest Axon was a librarian in Manchester Public Libraries for over fifty years from 1881, a historian of Manchester and the North West, and the author of several Unitarian local histories. His papers consist of almost 1,500 in- and out-letters, 1897–1947.

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