Beth Astridge with Dame Stephanie Shirley

UK Philanthropy Archive receives first deposit from Dame Stephanie Shirley

The University has received the first deposit to the new UK Philanthropy Archive, part of the Special Collections and Archives in the Templeman Library.

Established in collaboration with the University’s Centre for Philanthropy, the UK Philanthropy Archive aims to create a resource that records the breadth of UK philanthropy, representing the history, experiences and perspectives of UK philanthropists.

The submission was made by the founder depositor and first donor to the Archive, renowned UK philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley, after discussions with Beth Breeze, director of the Centre for Philanthropy.

The materials include financial and project papers relating to the Shirley Foundation, which funded more than £60 million in grants to over 100 strategic projects in the fields of autism and IT, before closing in 2018. Further deposits of material reflecting the work and focus of Dame Stephanie Shirley and the Shirley Foundation are planned for the future.

Newly appointed Project Archivist in Special Collections and Archives in the Templeman Library, Beth Astridge, said: ‘It is fantastic to receive some of the first items from the Shirley Foundation archive collection. With this deposit we can begin the process of making these fascinating records available for research into the work and impact of philanthropic organisations in the UK.’

Leading UK philanthropists are invited to deposit papers relating to their grantmaking decisions as well as personal papers, speeches and other material that help contextualise their giving decisions. Anyone interested in doing so can contact the Special Collections team at the Templeman.

The archive marks another milestone for the Centre for Philanthropy which celebrated 10 years since its inception in November 2018. Its research has provided some of the first detailed studies of philanthropy, fundraising and volunteering in the UK, and it has successfully launched the first postgraduate degree in Philanthropic Studies outside North America.