The Henry Button Archive: 1932-2004

Henry Button was a student of Professor Prior in the 1930s. He was an active member of La Société Française de l’Université de Cambridge whilst studying at Christ’s College Cambridge. Later, he became a longtime supporter of the Oliver Prior Society which he joined in January 1974 when he returned to Cambridge after retiring from the Civil Service .

Even this modest collection of Henry Button’s papers reveal that he went on to an extraordinary life after his time at Cambridge. Beyond his career in the Civil Service, he was Brain of Britain in 1962 and an honorary member of the exclusive business club the Tercentenarians Club for 32 years. He also edited the Guinness Book of the Business World.

Record-breaking Henry Button also found his place in Guinness history in 2002 when he finally received his Master of Letters – a degree which took him 42 years to complete!

The Oliver Prior Society is delighted to have access to Henry Button’s collection of materials relating to both the Oliver Prior Society and other language societies at Cambridge including programmes, playbills and news articles. Below, you can view a selection of items from this personal archive.

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