The Papers of John Burns Hynd

One of the Archives Centre’s vital sources for post-war and trans-national studies, the Papers of John Burns Hynd, have been repackaged and catalogued.

Recent work on the Hynd collection, which involved the repackaging of the material and the updating of the catalogue, has brought a few unexpected aspects about his life and work to light.

Bundle of unsorted papers in a cardboard box in the Hynd collection.

Recent accessions to the Hynd collection, before repackaging.


John Burns Hynd, who started his career as a railway clerk in Perth, served as a Labour MP for the Attercliffe Division of Sheffield from 1944 to 1970. From 1945 to 1947, Hynd was Minister for Germany and Austria. His life-long interest in Germany and in promoting good relations between Germany and Great Britain led Hynd to chair the Anglo-German Parliamentary Group. The collection’s content, especially the large amount of photograph albums, illustrates this part of his career as well as his involvement in other aspects of foreign relations.


Newspapers, albums and loose photographs from the Hynd collection laid out for packaging

Material from the Hynd collection during repackaging.


The collection also contains material related to Hynd’s time as a railway clerk, such as papers on transport and the Trades Union movement. Documents related to the Labour Party and to the Parliamentary constituency of Attercliffe in Sheffield reflect his time as Labour MP in post-war Britain.


Files from the Hynd papers after packaging

Repackaged material from the Hynd collection, ready for production in the reading room.


More surprising items found in the collection include some of Hynd’s cartoons, which he contributed to local Sheffield newspapers and to the Railway Review in the 1930s. A number of artworks, such as a self-portrait and two landscape paintings, further reveal the artistic side of the man behind the ‘papers’.

An updated catalogue, including recent additions to the collection, is now available online:

Catalogue to the Hynd Papers

— Julia Schmidt, Archives Assistant, September 2018