The Campbell Allen papers consist of around 3500 documents.
The central figure in the archive is William John Campbell Allen and the bulk of the papers relate to him and reflect his career and interests.
He was born on 22 October 1810, the only son of Thomas Allen and Jane Campbell. Thomas Allen was a merchant with premises in North Street, Belfast and died while his son was still young. William John was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and went on to practice law in Dublin. However, he had little success and moved into business.
He married Isabella Marshall in 1838 and they had three children, two daughters, Isabella and Jane and a son, Andrew James who was Senior Wrangler at Cambridge in 1879 and became a Church of England clergyman [see D1558/1/6/].