Correspondence and papers of Professor Arthur Brown

Scope and Content

Comprises: (1) Personalia relating to his time at Bradford Grammar School, 1929-1933, including school essays and examination certificates, and correspondence concerning the honours he later received, notably, FBA 1972, CBE 1974, and honorary degrees; (2) Material relating to his Oxford days, 1933-1939, including ca. 40 PPE notebooks and a copy of his D.Phil. thesis; (3) Drafts of, and correspondence relating to, various research articles on economics; (4) Papers relating to advice given to government throughout his life, including service on various committees, such as the University Grants Committee; (5) Papers relating to his teaching and administration at Leeds University; (6) Books by others, chiefly on economics.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Joseph Brown was born on 8 August 1914 in Cheshire, but educated at Bradford Grammar School and, as Hastings Scholar, at Queen's College Oxford, where he graduated in 1936 with first class honours in PPE. In 1937 he became a Fellow of All Souls and also a Lecturer at Hertford College until 1939, when he took his D.Phil. He spent the Second World War in Government service, first in the Foreign Research and Press Service and then in the Research Department of the Foreign Office. Between 1945 and 1947 he was in the Economic Section of the Cabinet Office working on the implications of German re-armament and on the creation of the Government Statistical Service. In 1947 he was appointed to the Professorship of Economics at Leeds University, a post he held until his retirement in 1979. Between 1975 and 1977 he was Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and, after retirement, an honorary lecturer until 1988. Throughout his time at Leeds he continued with part-time Government service. He was involved with the de-colonization of Africa in the early 1960's as a member of the East Africa Economic and Fiscal Commission, and later as a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Group on Central Africa. His extensive experience of the economics of wartime led to him being a UK appointee to the UN Consultative group on the Economic and Social Consequences of Disarmament in 1961-1962. He was a member of the Hunt Committee on Intermediate Areas in 1967-1969 and of the University Grants Committee between 1969 and 1978. He was President of Section F of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1958, was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1972, and was awarded a CBE in 1974 and honorary doctorates by four universities. He was on the Council of the Royal Economic Society 1950-1968 and 1974, and was its President 1976-1978. He also served the second Wilson government between 1966 and 1970. As an applied economist he did significant work in international trade theory, monetary theory, inflation, and regional economics. He wrote seven books and numerous journal articles, in addition to over 50 articles on the economics of warfare during his time in government service. His 1948 book Applied economics, aspects of the World economy in war and peace was a standard text for many years. His other major work was The Great Inflation, 1956. He died on 28 February 2003.


The archive remains unlisted.

Access Information

Access is unrestricted.

Acquisition Information

The gift of Professor Brown's family, 4 April 2003.


Mostly in English, but with a little French and Latin

Personal Names