X Close

UCL Special Collections


Updates from one of the foremost university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books in the UK


A Home Guard Christmas message

By utnvkh2, on 19 December 2016



Home Guard Christmas Card 1940, NH/4/3/26, UCL Institute of Education Archive

Home Guard Christmas Card 1940, NH/4/3/26, UCL Institute of Education Archive

NH/4/3 Inside of Home Guard Christmas card, 1940

NH/4/3 Inside of Home Guard Christmas card, 1940

We’re getting into the Christmas spirit here at UCL Institute of Education Archives and thought we’d share this historical Christmas greeting with you all!   This Christmas Card was sent to Nicholas Hans by the Home Guard, which he joined on its formation in 1939.  Nicholas Hans was born in Russia and came to London in 1920 where he started working at the Department of Education in Kings College. During the Second World War he worked as a civil servant in the Censorship Department of the Ministry of Information and, as we found out when cataloguing this material, he was also a member of the Home Guard.  In 1946 he was appointed as lecturer at King’s College, becoming a Reader in Comparative Education in 1948. During this time he collaborated with Joseph Lauwerys at the Institute of Education in supervising higher degree students and arranging overseas trips, and he continued these activities after his retirement in 1953. He wrote and published on a wide range of topics, including comparative education, educational policy in Russia, and the history of Russian and eighteenth century education.


The Papers of Nicholas Hans have been held, and catalogued, by UCL Institute of Education Archive since the 1970s but I have recently just added three boxes of material to the catalogue so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to highlight this interesting collection, and an excuse to use this Christmas card which we all really liked!  The additional three boxes of material includes some really fascinating material including: Visa application for Nicholas and Grace Hans to come to Britain from Russia in 1920; correspondence with other leading educationists including Friedrich Schneider, George Z F Bereday, Sergei Hessen, Edmee Hatinguais and H C Barnard; photographs of work trips abroad; letters sent to Grace from conferences abroad, family photographs and these Home Guard photos; hand-drawn magazines created by Nicholas Hans while waiting in Istanbul for entry to Britain in 1920; block printed Christmas  cards from Arcangelo & Eda Cascieri (Arcangelo and Eda were both artists & Arcangelo was Dean of Boston Architectural Centre); and notes and drafts of articles and books by Hans.  You can find out more about the Nicholas Hans collection on our libguide or through the archive catalogue.  There is also a Nicholas Hans Special Collection, which contains books bequeathed to the Institute of Education by Nicholas Hans, mostly on comparative education.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing more items from the newly catalogued material in 2017 as it was full of so much fascinating material!

So Compliments of the Season to you all and best wishes for a Happy New Year!