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British Library of Political and Economic Science

ADAMS, Sir Walter, 1906-1975, Knight, economist


Reference code(s): GB 0097 ADAMS W

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: ADAMS, Sir Walter, 1906-1975, Knight, economist

Date(s): [1906]-1973

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 31 boxes

Name of creator(s): Adams | Sir | Walter | 1906-1975 | Knight | economist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 1906; educated Sussex Grammar School and University College London; Lecturer in History, University College London, 1926-1934; Rockefeller Fellow in USA, 1929-1930; Organising Secretary, Second International Congress of the History of Science and Technology, 1931; Secretary, Academic Assistance Council, 1933-1938; Secretary, London School of Economics, 1938-1946; Deputy Head, British Political Warfare Mission, USA, 1942-1944; Assistant Deputy Director-General, Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office, 1945; OBE, 1945; Secretary, Inter-University Council for Higher Education in the Colonies, 1946-1955; CMG, 1952; Principal, University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1955-1967; Director, London School of Economics, 1967-1974; Kt, 1970; died 1975.
Publications: joint-editor of The Diary of Robert Hooke, 1672-1680 (Taylor & Francis: London, 1935).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Walter Adams, [1906]-1974, comprising personal correspondence with family and friends and material relating to early historical and academic work, 1930-[1975]; papers relating to the Commission on African Higher Education, 1949-1952; material relating to Adams' time as Principal of the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1953-1966, including correspondence concerning his appointment, papers regarding overseas visits and conferences, and administrative and financial papers relating to the UCRN; texts and notes for speeches made by Adams, 1945-1966, including some on education in Africa; correspondence by Adams as Principal of UCRN, 1955-1974, including personal letters and testimonials; later papers relating to educational issues in Rhodesia, 1967-1974; material relating to Adam's time as Director of the London School of Economics, 1966-1973, notably correspondence relating to his appointment, minutes and associated papers of LSE committees, official correspondence with administrative and academic staff, papers relating to the Students' Union, selection committees, the Library Appeal, the LSE Magazine, press and publicity, and student unrest; semi-official correspondence of Adams as Director of the LSE, 1967-1974; papers concerning the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, 1968-1972; papers relating to the placement of foreign refugee scholars (notably from Czechoslovakia), 1968-1971; speeches and writings for audiences outside the LSE, 1967-1972; engagement books, 1968-1973; photographs, [1900s-1973], including early family photographs, and group photos at UCRN and the LSE.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The papers are arranged in sections as outlined in the Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

Apply to Archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright held by British Library of Political and Economic Science.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:



Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Given by the family in 1978.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The BLPES holds copies of Black and White, the student journal of the University College of Rhodesia (Ref: Coll Misc 1881), and correspondence between Adams and Dr C Board concerning a geography survey of taxi availability in central London (Ref: Coll Misc 10335). Further material relating to Sir Walter Adams is held in the papers of the LSE Archives (Ref: Adams/0001-0004 and Central Filing Registry/453/7/1/A-B); and the papers of Dr Audrey Richards (Ref: Richards/16/2).

Rhodes House Library, Oxford University, holds correspondence with Margery Perham (Ref: MSS Perham); the Brotherton Library, Leeds University, has letters to Esther Simpson, 1935-1974 (Ref: MS959); the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, contains correspondence relating to the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, 1933-1976 (Ref: SPSL).

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97; Historical Manuscripts Commission National Register of Archives. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Sep 2000

Refugees | Migrants

Personal names
Adams | Sir | Walter | 1906-1975 | Knight | economist

Corporate names
Commission on African Higher Education
LSE | London School of Economics and Political Science x London School of Economics and Political Science
Society for the Protection of Science and Learning
University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Zimbabwe | Southern Africa
Nyasaland x Malawi
Rhodesia x Zimbabwe
Eastern Europe