STAFF at the Bodleian Library in Oxford have been examining the personal archive of renowned Labour politician Denis Healey.

The former Chancellor of the Exchequer was a classics graduate of Balliol College where he studied from 1936 to 1939.

Mr Healey's political career began when he was a student in Oxford, where he was deeply involved in left-wing politics with the Labour and Communist Parties.

He was a senior figure in the Labour Party in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and died aged 98 in 2015.

The personal archive of Mr Healey, who served as Defence Secretary and Chancellor, was acquired for the nation and allocated to the Bodleian through the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme.

The collection is still being processed but Mr Healey's son, Tim Healey, said he hoped it would one day be the subject of an exhibition at the Bodleian's Weston Library.

Mr Healey, 68, director of The Oxford Waits, a costume band performing 17th century songs, said: "My father's archive was extensive and I liaised with the Bodleian staff, together with my sisters Jenifer Copsey and Cressida Forester.

"My father was an inveterate photographer, so there are a lot of black and white prints and lots of correspondence.

"Dad also completed a lot of watercolours during the war and some of them are quite charming.

"I think it would be great if there was an exhibition at the Weston Library at some point - it's a lovely space.

"My father eventually decided that the best home for the archive was Oxford."

Mr Healey said he and his sisters kept a number of 'personal mementos' while his father's library of 15,000 books was sold.

Denis Healey was the International Secretary of the Labour Party (1945-1952), Member of Parliament (1952-1992), Secretary of State for Defence (1964-1970) and Chancellor of the Exchequer (1974-1979).

The archive sheds light on this aspect of Healey’s life, as well as providing valuable material for the study of his political career.

Chris Fletcher, Keeper of Special Collections at the Bodleian, said: "We are delighted that the Bodleian has been allocated Denis Healey's personal archive and it's particularly appropriate that it will be kept in Oxford where he began his political career.

"The archive complements the library's strong holdings in 20th century politics, which include the papers of several of Healey's contemporaries such as former Prime Ministers Harold Macmillan and James Callaghan, former labour MP Barbara Castle and politician Roy Jenkins."

The material shows Mr Healey's particular interest in foreign affairs – the relations between Russia and the West, between Britain and Europe, and events in the Middle East.

Press cuttings, videos of speeches and television appearances add to the manuscripts and correspondence.

The archive also includes diaries dating from the 1930s to 2015.

Highlights from the archive include an account of travels in Europe in the mid-1930s, including a visit to Nazi Germany in 1936, and correspondence with key figures in Labour party history, including Clement Attlee, Tony Benn, and James Callaghan.

John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said: "This rare collection gives a unique insight into one of Britain's most prominent 20th century politicians."