Kirkus War Pamphlets

Reference: KIRKUS WAR PAMPHLETSDate: 1934-1946Extent: 65 volumes

The Kirkus War Pamphlets collection includes ephemeral documents from 1934-1946, collected by University Librarian Mary Kirkus.

Agnes Mary Kirkus (d. 1959/60) was University Librarian at the University of Reading from 1941 to 1959. Before that, she had been a member of staff in the University Library since 1928.  

Her published works include The Records of the Commissioners of Sewers in the Parts of Holland 1547-1603, for which she was an editor. She also produced a definitive bibliography of Robert Gibbings, the artist and engraver. They were colleagues while Kirkus was University Librarian and Gibbings was working in the Fine Art department at the University of Reading.  

During her time at Reading, she was the first librarian to respond to Hiroshima University’s call for support in 1945. Become of her efforts, the University of Reading was one of five British universities to send books for the new Peace Library in 1951. You can read more about A. Mary Kirkus’s impact in the University of Reading’s connection with Hiroshima University in this press release from 2015. 

She left a bequest to the University Library, part of which was used to facilitate the acquisition of the Cole Library.  

This collection of war pamphlets was left to the Library as part of her bequest. They represent a valuable primary resource for World War Two studies. 


This collection is fully catalogued and searchable via our online catalogue.  



Gibbings Collection – some of this collection formed part of the Agnes Mary Kirkus bequest. Kirkus held a lot of Gibbings’ papers as he gave them to her while she was writing his bibliography.