Archives of the Quaker Peace Studies Trust

The Quaker Peace Studies Trust has been key in the creation and continuing story of the Peace Studies Department at the University of Bradford.

The Quaker Peace Studies Trust

The Trust springs from the pacifist tradition within the Society of Friends and the particular concern of George Murphy to raise funds to establish the study of peace and conflict resolution in British universities.  In the late 1960s his concern was taken up by the Friends Peace and International Relations Committee, chaired by Arthur Hewlett. The idea took root at Bradford University, following George Murphy’s appointment in 1970 as Chair in Finance at the University’s Management Centre and with the support of Pro-Vice-Chancellor Robert McKinlay, who was also a Quaker. The Society of Friends and the University agreed each would raise £75,000 towards the cost of establishing a Chair in Peace Studies.

In 1971 a committee, the Quaker Peace Studies Trust, was set up by the Society of Friends to oversee a public appeal for funds. The aim in the original trust deed was "financing research into, and the teaching of, Peace Studies at the University of Bradford". Ernest Stockdale, a local Friend, was appointed appeal secretary, Alec Horsley appeal organiser and George Murphy treasurer. The other founding members of the Trust were Frank Edmead, Arthur Hewlett, John Kay, Kenneth Lee, Robert McKinlay and Cedric Smith. The funds were raised within 10 weeks of the launch in March 1972, thanks to positive publicity and support from sponsors such as Harold Wilson, Joan Baez, J.B. Priestley and U Thant.

The first Chair of Peace Studies, Adam Curle, was appointed in 1973. Curle set about developing an academic department to teach and research Peace Studies and to offer undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The first academic appointments included Visiting Professor Tom Stonier, lecturers Uri Davis and Vithal Rajan, research assistant Tom Woodhouse and senior lecturer Nigel Young. The first students, a batch of 19 postgraduates, were admitted in October 1974. After Ernest Stockdale’s death in 1974, Kenneth Ford became secretary of the trust.

The Trust has continued to play a vital role in supporting peace education at Bradford. An appeal in 1985-86 raised funds to the value of over £150,000 and was used initially to fund a research project on the history of peace workers. An appeal in 1991 to expand the department’s doctoral research programme funded the purchase of Horsley House, leased to the University for the Centre for Conflict Resolution until 2008. The Trust continues to provide major support to the work of Peace Studies.

The Archive

Donated to Special Collections by the Trust in 2010, the Archive consists mainly of minutes, reports, papers and correspondence. There are some photographs, plus articles and papers on the history of Peace Studies and of QPST. The Archive has been fully catalogued by the Project Archivist Helen Roberts. Note that access to much of the Archive is restricted for data protection reasons.