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Barnes, Leonard John

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0102 PP MS 9
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies
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Full title: Barnes, Leonard John
Date(s): Created c1932-1977
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 25 boxes
Name of creator(s): Barnes | Leonard John | 1895-1977 | author and journalist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Leonard John Barnes was born in London on 21 July 1895. He was educated at St. Paul's School in Hammersmith and served in the First World War in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. He was wounded three times and awarded the Military Cross with bar. In 1919 he went to University College, Oxford. Following the completion of his degree he entered the Colonial Office for a short time. He then went to South Africa, where he worked as a farmer, and later as a journalist in Cape Town. He returned to England in 1932 and wrote The New Boer War documenting his experiences overseas. Barnes concentrated on his writing on colonial and development issues until in 1936 he was appointed lecturer in education at the University of Liverpool. In 1943 he married Margaret (Peggy). Barnes was a member of the Carr-Saunders Commission to Malaya in the late 1940s to enquire into education provision and the foundation of a university. In 1947 the Barneses moved to Oxford following his appointment as Secretary and Director of the Delegacy for Social Training in Oxford University (later the Department of Social and Administrative Studies). Barnes stayed at Oxford until his retirement in 1962.

Following his retirement, he visited Central and East Africa several times under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission. He was employed as a consultant to examine how African countries were coping with modernisation and sociological problems. In 1973 he was invited by Kenneth Kaunda to report on Zambia's political and economic problems, resulting in Zambia 1973: Comment and Appraisal. He was a prolific writer, publishing a large number of books on the situation in Africa, educational problems, the Empire and the Commonwealth. He also wrote poetry and biographical material. He died on 10 March 1977.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, c1932-1977, of Leonard John Barnes, comprising books, articles, unpublished manuscripts, reports, travel notebooks and some correspondence. The majority of papers in the collection relate to his interests in Africa, though there are also some papers relating to his educational work.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is arranged into the following classes: published books written by Leonard Barnes; published books to which Leonard Barnes contributed; published books in which Leonard Barnes is mentioned; journal articles by Leonard Barnes; reports in which Leonard Barnes was involved; bound manuscripts relating to Africa; bound and unbound manuscripts relating to various topics including education, society and Africa; notebooks and rough notes for books; notes and writings on visits to Africa; general and miscellaneous notes; correspondence.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Unpublished handlist.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated in 1977.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For correspondence and literary papers, see Location register of 20th Century English Literary MSS (1988). Correspondence with Rita Hinden (1944-1947) (Ref: MSS Brit Emp s 365) and letters to FS Livie-Noble (Ref: MSS Afr s 1427) are held at Oxford University, Rhodes House Library.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
16 May 2000

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