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Reaney Manuscripts

Reference code: 75

Scope and Contents

The extant material in the collection consists of the post-World War II papers of Dr Percy Hide Reaney. The collection comprises working notes, offprints and articles, some correspondence, an annotated copy of 'A Dictionary of British Surnames', and a proof copy of 'The Origin of English Surnames'. The majority of the papers date from 1946 to 1967, with one letter dated 1943.

The documents in the collection relate primarily to the two works on surnames, and additionally to articles related to onomastics published in various periodicals and transactions of local and philological societies. The notes may also have been used in Dr Reaney's contributions to the English Place-Name Society series (in particular Essex and Suffolk).

Unfortunately Reaney's earlier research papers were destroyed in the Blitz.


  • Creation: 1943 - 1967


Conditions Governing Access

Available to all researchers, by appointment with no restrictions

Biographical / Historical

Dr Percy Hide Reaney (1890-1968), was a noted philologist and researcher of personal and place names, and author of numerous related publications. Reaney is chiefly remembered as the author of 'A Dictionary of British Surnames' (1958), 'The Origin of English Place-Names' (1960), and 'The Origin of English Surnames' (1967).

Dr Reaney had a close connection with Sheffield, being born in the city, and with the University of Sheffield, graduating B.A. in 1911, M.A. in 1913, and taking the degree of D.Litt. in 1935, being only the second person to do so. He was in addition a Ph.D. (London, 1931). Other achievements included: Leverhulme Research Fellow in English (1940-41), member of the Council of the English Place-Name Society, the Council of the Philological Society, and the Essex Archaeological Society, and Chairman of Walthamstow Antiquarian Society.


14 Box(es)

Language of Materials



By category

Custodial History

Bequeathed to the University of Sheffield Library, 1963

Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Western Bank Library
University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield South Yorkshire S10 2TN United Kingdom
+44 (0) 114 222 7299