David Butler

27 February 2012

The topic of the last seminar was the political interviews of Sir David Butler; it was chaired by Professor Martin Ceadel, New College, Oxford.

Conducted over sixty years by Sir David and his co-authors, Anthony King, Austin Mitchell, Michael Pinto-Duschinsky and, latterly, Dennis Kavanagh, the interviews are the raw material for the definitive series on British General Elections from 1951 to 2005 (the 2010 edition is co-written by Professor Kavanagh and Philip Cowley).

The session was followed by a question and answer session and was recorded; short extracts from the lectures are available for download below.

The text of Sir Davidís lecture [PDF,103kb].

David Butler, clip 1 [MP3, 771kb, 0.49s]

David Butler, clip 2 [MP3, 1MB, 1.33m]

Professor Kavanagh spoke from notes [PDF,36kb]. 

Dennis Kavanagh, clip 1 [7MB, 7.20m]

Dennis Kavanagh, clip 2 [2MB, 1.51m]

The complete recording of the lectures will be made available in the Special Collections Reading Room.


Sir Davidís papers are being acquired in stages by the Bodleian. The interviews are not yet in the Library, and because of the terms under which the interviews were conducted they will not be made available to researchers for some while.


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