AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

CHAMBERLAIN, Sir Joseph Austen (1863-1937)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0809 Chamberlain
Held at: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: CHAMBERLAIN, Sir Joseph Austen (1863-1937)
Date(s): 1931-1938
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 file, 1 envelope
Name of creator(s): Chamberlain | Sir | Joseph Austen | 1863-1937 | Knight | politician
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain was born in Birmingham in 1863 and was the elder son of Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914), industrialist, Mayor of Birmingham, Member of Parliament and several times Minister of the Crown. He was also half-brother to Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940), Prime Minister.

Austen Chamberlain's Parliamentary career spanned 1892-1937, and he was deeply involved in party, national and international politics as the supporter of his father, as a leader in the Conservative/Unionist party and as elder statesman. He held offices including Junior Whip, 1893; Civil Lord of the Admiralty, 1895-1900; Financial Secretary to the Treasury, 1900-1902; Postmaster General, 1902-1903; Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1903-1905 and 1919-1921; Secretary of State for India 1915-1917; Leader of the House and Lord Privy Seal, 1921-1922; Foreign Secretary, 1924-1929, and First Lord of the Admiralty, 1931. Chamberlain was made a knight in 1925 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926.

Postgraduate medical education in London is deeply indebted to the Chamberlain family. Joseph Chamberlain was responsible for the foundation in 1899 of the London School of Tropical Medicine for which Sir Austen Chamberlain at a later date raised an endowment fund. Neville Chamberlain, as Minister of Health, laid the foundation stone of the School in 1926 and in 1932, Sir Austen became Chairman of its Court of Governors.

He was a member of the Board of Management of the School and regularly attended the meetings of its Board, giving an immense amount of personal attention both to the business management of the School and to the work of the scientific staff; instrumental in incorporating the Ross Institute in the School, 1934; and worked to secure the School's endowment, donations and subscriptions.

It was perhaps typical of the pains he took to make himself intimate with the affairs of the School that, whatever the other claims on his time might be, he invariably attended the annual Students' dinner and devoted his whole evening to talking with individual students. Sir Austin died in 1937.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain, 1931-1938, relate to his time as Chairman of the Court of Governors and member of the Board of Management of the School of Tropical Medicine, and the aftermath of his death. Correspondence regards Chamberlain's role on the Court of Governors and Board of Management; information on donations and subscriptions; correspondence with his family after his death and on the commissioning of a portrait of him after his death; a note on his relationship with the School and letters to the Chairman of the Chadwick Trust.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:


System of arrangement:

Arranged into two series: papers and correspondence, 1931-1938, and letters to the Chairman of the Chadwick Trust, 1932.

Conditions governing access:

This collection is open for consultation. Please contact the Archivist to arrange an appointment. All researchers must complete and sign a user registration form which signifies their agreement to abide by the archive rules. All researchers are required to provide proof of identity bearing your signature (for example, a passport or debit card) when registering. Please see website for further information at

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Allied Materials

Related material:

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine holds additional correspondence and photographs of Chamberlain within Ross Institute collection and Admin collection.

Birmingham University Information Services, Special Collections Department (AC); The National Archives (FO 800/256-63); Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts (MS Addison dep c 131, 134, 155 and MSS Asquith); British Library, Manuscript Collections (ADD MSS 49735-36); National Archives of Scotland (GD433); Parliamentary Archives (BBK C/79 and BLU); Shropshire Archives (S.R.O. 4629) contain papers relating to Chamberlain.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Archives Hub Birmingham collection on Chamberlain and note in file on Chamberlain's relationship with School.
Edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.

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:
February 2008

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"