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British Library of Political and Economic Science

Political and Economic Planning and Policy Studies Institute Archives


Reference code(s): GB 0097 PEP/PSI

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: Political and Economic Planning and Policy Studies Institute Archives

Date(s): 1922-1987

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 354 boxes and 1 volume

Name of creator(s): Political and Economic Planning Policy Studies Institute


Administrative/Biographical history:

Political and Economic Planning was founded in 1931 at the height of the Great Depression to plan for British recovery in the widest sense. During the thirties it carried out a series of investigations into the operation of the British economy, and into education and health. During and after World War Two it extended its interests into policy issues in other countries and carried out many detailed investigations of social problems. In 1978 PEP merged with the Centre for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), and became the Policy Studies Institute (PSI). The present collection consists of the archives of the PEP/PSI together with the PEP papers of Leonard Elmhirst and Max Nicholson.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Political and Economic Planning and the Policy Studies Institute, 1922-1987, comprising the following: Administrative papers, 1931-1978, notably minutes of the Executive Council, 1933-1978, the Trustees, 1938-1961, the PEP Club Committee, 1942-1955 and the Finance and General Purposes Committee, 1953-1964; membership and circulation lists, 1931-1955; legal and financial papers, mainly concerning property, 1933-1963; correspondence with publishers, 1934-1938; bulletins, 1934-1984; papers relating to weekend meetings to review research in progress, 1944-1954; material concerning funding and finance from various bodies, 1956-1969; papers of the PEP Trust, 1933-1949. Research papers, 1931-1974, notably papers of working groups, 1922-1944, on subjects including employment, industry, local government, health, housing, education and international trade; material concerning PEP publications, 1933-1980, notably broadsheets and reports, mainly concerning the finance, administration and publication of the studies; files concerning post-war studies which resulted in more than one publication, 1939-1970, notably on population, industry, economics, trade unions, mental health, the common market, and social studies; material concerning unprinted papers, 1931-1973; press cuttings, 1931-1942. Papers of John Pinder, Director of PEP (1964-1985), [1925]-1987, including unsigned minutes, correspondence and papers of the Executive Committee, 1950-1978, and Special Executive Meetings, 1971-1976; reports of the Programme Planning Committee, 1964-1966; minutes and papers of staff meetings, 1958-1972; material concerning PEP history and records, 1931-[1980], including early documents and correspondence concerning foundation; financial material, 1948-1977; printed material, [1925]-1978, including PEP memorandum and articles of association, and papers relating to the PEP/PSI merger; papers concerning the joint PEP and Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) project on the European Community, 1965-1976, including material relating to the Ford Foundation Grant, correspondence, and study papers; material concerning PEP studies and publications, 1965-1987, notably on mental health, public reaction to disability, urban growth, professional migration, industry, economics, the labour market, and UK race relations; papers relating to European bodies, or bodies concerned with European issues, 1960-1977, including the Committee for Economic Development, the European Movement, the Overseas Development Institute, the Race Relations Board and the Federal Trust; personal papers of John Pinder, 1967-1975, including lectures, articles and reviews by him and material relating to his European interests. Papers of other contributors to PEP/PSI, [1940]-1982, notably papers concerning PEP administration, the compilation of statistics for propaganda purposes during World War Two, architecture, social science higher education, company law and responsibilities, labour market policies, the training of adults for skilled employment, transport policy and personal mobility, racial equality, and voluntary youth organisations.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as outlined in the Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

Open, though some confidential files remain closed.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright is held by the depositor. Most documents may be photocopied.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Draft handlist available.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Deposited by the Policy Studies Institute in 1980 and 1998. The papers of individuals were placed in the PEP/PSI files before their deposit in the Library. Further material was given by Max Nicholson in 1987 and Richard Fitter in 1992 and 1993.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:

John Pinder (ed) Fifty years of Political and Economic Planning: looking forward 1931-1981 (Heinemann, London, 1981).



Archivist's note: Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science Archives catalogue. 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: Mar 2001

Economic planning | Economic policy
Social planning | Social policy

Personal names
Pinder | John Humphrey Murray | b 1924 | economist

Corporate names
Committee for Economic Development
European Movement
Federal Trust
Ford Foundation
Overseas Development Trust
Policy Studies Institute
Political and Economic Planning
Race Relations Board
Royal Institute of International Affairs x Chatham House