Letters from Philip Larkin to Barry Bloomfield and related papers



Admin History:

Barry Cambray Bloomfield was born in London on 1 June 1931, was a distinguished librarian and as the bibliographer of Auden and Philip Larkin. His first professional post, in 1956, was at the College of St Mark and St John in Chelsea and it was here he published his first work on English bibliography. In 1961 he was appointed Assistant Librarian at the London School of Economics before moving to the School of Oriental and African Studies where he first started working in Oriental Librarianship. In 1978 he became Director of the India Office Library and Records and successfully negotiated its incorporation into the British Library in 1982 without breaking-up the collections. He held numerous offices for a range of professional groups and associations including President of the Bibliographical Society in its centenary year (1992) and was instrumental in the creation of the Association of Commonwealth Archivists and Records Managers in 1983 and undertook tours in India and Pakistan on behalf of the British Council.

He retired from his post as Director of Collection Development at the British Library in December 1990. He was Chair of Rare Books Group between 1991-1995 and was co-editor of the 2nd edition of A Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the UK (pub 1997). He will be remembered for his masterly bibliographies of the works of W. H. Auden and Philip Larkin, both widely regarded as models of meticulous scholarship with 'Philip Larkin, a Bibliography, 1933-1976' being published in 1979 but died just before the second edition was published in 2002. The friendship between the two librarians was evident in Barry's reminiscences of Larkin in 'Brought to Book' (published in 1995). He died on 26th Feb 2002.