Central Committees

Scope and Content

Administrative papers of the central committees of the School of Oriental and African Studies and its predecessor, the School of Oriental Studies, where committee records have been selected for permanent perservation. This sub-collection mainly consists of minutes, agendas and papers of committees and their sub-committees, sometimes ad hoc or temporary. There is also some correspondence. Some of the central committees report directly to the Governing Body (now the Board of Trustees) whilst others report indirectly to the Governing Body through other central committees.The main central committees which report directly into the School's Governing Body are Academic Board, Committee of Management (abolished 1935), Executive Board, Resources and Planning Committee, Audit Committee, Resources Committee (abolished 2007), Health and Safety Committee and the Honorary Degrees and Fellowships Committee.

Committees which did not directly report into the Governing Body but are part of the formal structure of the School Committees are the Head of Departments Committee (abolished 2002), Academic Development Committee, Library Committee, Student Welfare Committee, Learning and Teaching Policy Committee, Academic Structures Working Group (ceased in 2001), Strategic Priorities Team Committee, Estates Committee and the Information Strategy Committee.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Governing Body (renamed the Board of Trustees in September 2015) was established in 1916 by the Charter of Incorporation. All central committees report either directly or indirectly to the Governing Body. In 2007, the School's committee structure was reviewed as part of the broader Vision and Strategy for the Centennial.


Committees are mainly arranged according to the central committee structure adopted as part of the Vision and Strategy for the Centennial. There are 11 sub-sub collections which represent the central committees past and present which reported directly to the Governing Body and one sub-sub collection of sub-committees. The committees which report into other central committees are at series level.

Access Information

Committee papers are subject to a 30 year closure period with some exceptions. For access to minutes between 30 and 80 years old, access is generally open as long as a Data Protection Declaration form is signed although some minutes and papers are closed for 80 years due to the sensitivity of the records or for Data Protection reasons. Please apply to Special Collections for further advice or see individual record. Open central committee minutes and papers after around November 2003 are generally available on the SOAS website, although this varies between committees. Minutes and papers over 80 years old are open for access.

Restrictions Apply

Other Finding Aids

Handlist available

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance

Copyright held by SOAS, University of London

Custodial History

Records transferred by the Directorate.