Foundations of Sociology Archive (LePlay): Farquharson Papers

Scope and Content

Papers collected by Farquharson in the course of his work and privately. Much of the collection comprises papers of the Institute of Sociology and Le Play House. Other papers include working notes for lectures on on field studies, citizenship, education; notes and papers on Hungarian trip in 1930; other lecture notes, correspondence, and bills.

Institute of Sociology: meeting cards 1939; constitution, local and field studies 1950-1960; Executive Council papers 1952-5; correspondence. newspaper cuttings; papers of the final meeting, 1953;, papers of council 1952-1955; annual reports,

Le Play House: notes c.1933, Bulletin, 1952-3; House Badges.

Administrative / Biographical History

Following the dissolution of the Institute of Sociology in 1955, the University College of North Staffordshire (now Keele University) was gifted the Institute's Journal (the Sociological Review), library and archive collection. Whilst most of the Institute's library (c.15,000 volumes) was incorporated into the College's library, most of the archive material was placed in store. In the summer of 2000, a researcher from Heriot-Watt University began working on the Institute material, a process that involved concentrating all the material in one store-room, and opening for the first time hundreds of parcels containing archive material. The resource has now been named the Foundations of Sociology Archive (LePlay).

Alexander Farquharson was a founder member of the Sociological Society (later the Institute of Sociology), and was a mainstay of the organisation for 30 years. He lived at the Institute's headquarters, Le Play House from 1920 with his wife Dorothea Farquharson, and was involved in many projects including a five year sociololgical study resulting in Chester City and Region, and Fifeshire Survey, and many other projects. Farquharson became the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute in 1930 and was a member of the Editorial Board for the Sociological Review(the official publication of the organisation) from its creation shortly after 1930. In 1932 he became General Secretary of the International Conference on Social Work, holding this office until 1946. He died in 1954.

Reference: Dorothea Farquharson, 'Dissolution of the Institute of Sociology', Sociological Review (New Series, Vol 3, 1955 ).


The archive is uncatalogued. The Farquharson papers form part of the Foundations of Sociology Archive (LePlay).

Access Information

There are no restrictions on access to these papers. Viewing is by prior appointment.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited at Keele in 1955

Other Finding Aids

A rough list is available in paper format. A digitisation and cataloguing project of the Le Play Collection is currently underway. The key aims of the Project are to create and deliver a digital catalogue for the Collection and to ensure its physical preservation.

Collection level descriptions also exist for the Le Play Collection (GB 172 LP) and the Branford papers (GB 172 LPVB)

Authority records exist for Sociological Society (GB 152 AAR 1948), the Institute of Sociology (GB 152 AAR 1970), Victor Branford (GB 152 AAR 1947), and Alexander Farquharson (GB 152 AAR 1972).

Archivist's Note

The Foundations of Sociology Archive (LePlay) was formerly known as Le Play Collection.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The following collections are constituent parts of the Foundations of Sociology Archive (LePlay) and are held at Keele: Sociological Society Archive; Le Play House Library; Le Play House Press Papers; Le Play Society Archive; Le Play House Archive; Civic Education League Archive; Regional Survey Movement Archive; Institute of Sociology Archive; Branford Archive (Victor and Sybella Branford). For further information please contact Special Collections and Archives.