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The British Idealism and Collingwood Centre

The Collingwood and British Idealism Centre was established in 1994 at the University of Wales, Swansea, with the aim of promoting and encouraging research into the life and philosophy of R. G. Collingwood and moved to Cardiff University in 2000.

The Collingwood and British Idealism Centre was established in 1994 at the University of Wales, Swansea, with the aim of promoting and encouraging research into the life and philosophy of R. G. Collingwood and moved to Cardiff University in 2000.

The Centre produces a journal, Collingwood and British Idealism Studies edited by Andrew Vincent, David Boucher & Bruce Haddock, publishes books, provides physical and intellectual support, houses copies of manuscripts from a range of British Idealists, printed books and over 120 Ph.D. theses from all over the world, and organises conferences for which we have had support from the British Academy and AHRC.

The Centre encourages research and study focused on the corpus of the British Idealists’ writings in relation to themes which are associated with broader issues in the areas of politics, ethics, social and political philosophy, history of ideas, British and Continental political thought, sociology, and social policy. There is no restriction on the methodological and interpretative approaches employed and new innovative interdisciplinary projects of re-assessment, critical examination, and reconstruction of the British Idealists’ philosophy are encouraged. The Collingwood and British Idealism Centre has four main foci, which act as the objectives to be pursued: the moral social and political philosophy of Idealism; society and the individual; varying international perspectives on Idealism and the diverse and powerful influence of Idealism.


  1. To develop a unique resource for the promotion and encouragement of research into the work of Collingwood and British Idealism. This resource will include a comprehensive website; extensive bibliographies, a unique collection of Ph.D. theses, adding to the over one hundred and twenty already held, a comprehensive collection of printed material, including copies of journal articles.
  2. To provide intellectual and material support for postgraduate and established scholars. We are particularly concerned to provide a vibrant intellectual culture and environment in which postgraduates can develop and mature, by means of expert supervision, regular opportunities to attended conferences organized by the Centre at Cardiff, Oxford, and the University of Wales Conference Centre at Gregynog.
  3. To provide the focus for collaborative and individual research, by producing the Journal Collingwood and British Idealism Studies, and related publications such as those already produced: Peter Johnson, The Correspondence of R. G. Collingwood: An Illustrated Guide(Collingwood Society, 1998), and History, Philosophy and Civilisation, ed. D. Boucher, James Connelly, and Tariq Modood (Wales University Press and the Collingwood Society, 1997).
    The aim is for the Centre to attract visiting international scholars who will provide the focus for seminars and produce edited collections arising out of the common themes outlined above, and to encourage single authored monographs on the important themes.

Meet the team

Lead researcher


Big in Taiwan: the British Idealism and Collingword Centre in the Far East
May – June 2012, Kobe, Japan

R. G. Collingwood Society Conference
19th – 20th July 2010, Prato, Italy

British and Italian Idealism Conference
15th – 17th December 2008, Gregynog, Powys

Collingwood and Twentieth-Century Philosophy
18th – 21st October 2007, Montréal

R. G. Collingwood Conference
6th – 8th July 2005, Conistonwater, Cumbria


The Centre holds over 120 PhD theses from all over the world, and is unique in having such a resource for research. The theses are predominantly on Collingwood, reflecting the origins of the Centre, but also include theses on the other British Idealists. Our aim is to develop the collection to include theses on British Idealism in general.

The Centre also holds numerous items by R G Collingwood, as well as secondary materials which shed light upon the period and areas in which he worked, among which are copies of the unpublished papers of the British Idealists Henry Jones and Michael Oakeshott. We also hold selected copies of manuscript material by William R Boyce Gibson, William Mitchell and Francis Anderson.

Grace Simpson Collection

Grace Simpson, the daughter of Collingwood’s friend archaeologist Henry Simpson, kindly donated books and other materials by or related to Collingwood. The Collection is held by the Collingwood Society, and is available for visitors to the Society for research purposes.

Next steps


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