Papers of William James Millar Mackenzie, 1909-1996; political scientist; Professor of Government, 1966-1970 and Professor of Politics, 1970-1974, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

The collection is largely made up of papers relating to the Social Sciences Research Council, for the period 1960-69. This includes UNESCO Main Trends in Research in the Social & Human Sciences questionnaires and returns, material from the Advisory Group on War Studies, the Advisory Committee for Scientific and Technical Information, the Working Group on Student Unrest and other SSRC groups and committees. The collection also contains material on Government and Administration in Africa.

Administrative / Biographical History

William James Millar Mackenzie was born on  8 April 1909  , only son of L M Mackenzie, WS, Edinburgh. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy, Balliol College, Oxford, England and the University of Edinburgh. He was a distinguished student at Oxford, gaining 1st Classes in Classical Moderations and Litterae Humanitores; winning the Craven Scholarship (  1928  ) and the Ireland Scholarship (  1929  ); and sharing the Jenkyns Exhibition in Classics (  1931  ). He graduated BA in  1931  , going on to take a Law Degree at the University of Edinburgh, graduating LLB with Distinction in  1933  . He was a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford from  1933-1948  , Tutor in Classics,  1933  , and Tutor in Politics,  1936  . He served with the Air Ministry in London and Washington from  1939-1944  , and as Official War Historian with the Special Operations Executive from  1945-1948  . He was Lecturer in Politics at Oxford from  1948-1949  . From  1949-1965  he was Professor of Government at the University of Manchester, England, where he was awarded the Degree of MA (ex-officio). He was appointed to the newly established Chair of Government at the  University of Glasgow in  1966  . He held that position until  1970  when he was appointed the Edward Caird Professor of Politics, the post which he held until his retirement in  1974  . He was active in public affairs, and was particularly involved in the solution of constitutional and administrative problems of developing countries. This included serving as Special Commissioner for Constitutional Development in Tanganyika,  1952  ; Constitutional Adviser to the Government of Kenya,  1959  ; and Vice-Chairman of a Departmental Committee on Training in Public Administration in Overseas Countries from  1962  . He was also actively involved in local government, serving on the Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London in  1957  , and on a Departmental Committee on Management in Local Government in  1964  . He was a member of the Lawrence Committee on MP's Pay from  1963-1964  . He also served as a co-opted member of the Education Committee of the City of Manchester. He was author and co-author of authoritative works on government and politics, including British Government since 1918Central Administration in Great Britain(1957) , Free Elections(1958),Five Elections in Africa(1959) , Politics and Social Science(1967) . His public service was acknowledged in the award of the CBE in  1963  and in the conferring of an honorary degree of LLD by the University of Dundee in  1968  , and an honorary DLitt in 1970 from the University of Lancaster. In  1943  he married Pamela Muriel Malyon and they had one son and four daughters. He died on 22 August  1996  .


The collection is survey listed.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : Professor MacKenzie and Department of Politics staff : 1981 : ACCNs 0298, 0317, 0268, 0180

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)2797) and London (NRA30484)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

Appraisal and re-listing to International standards is to be carried out as resources permit

Custodial History

The papers were stored in Professor MacKenzie's office until his retirement from Glasgow University in 1974


None expected

Related Material

See source list on Political and Labour History available via the Glagsow University Archiv Services homepage at

GB 161 MSS Selborne Correspondence between Professor Mackenzie and the Third Earl of Selborne 1945-1948 (Department of Western Manuscripts, Bodliean Library, Oxford )

GB 134 NRA 18162 Letters to Manchester Guardian 1950-1955 (John Rylands Library, Manchester University)

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the  Archon repository search page


No known publications using the collection

Additional Information

The collection is original

Compiled by  Moira MacKay , Assistant Archivist, research by  Virginia Russell , Archives Assistant, 22 September 1997

Alterations made by Lesley Richmond, University Archivist, 14 February 2003

Corporate Names

Geographical Names