Papers of Professor Percy Ford and Mrs Grace Ford

Scope and Content

The papers of Professor and Mrs Ford fall into three categories: (i) papers relating to their publications, correspondence relating to publishers and reviews (ii) working notes on subjects including labour movements, trade, banking, and some lecture notes on related topics; copies of reading lists for courses taught by Professor Ford (iii) personal and financial papers, including a register of the Fords' investments, other financial documents and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Professor Percy (Peter) Ford (1894-1983) was the fourth son of George Horace Ford, a radical dissenter at Hove. He attended London School of Economics, where he was elected Gerstenberg Scholar. After a spell of administration at the Board of Trade during the First World War he became resident lecturer at Ruskin College, where he met Grace Lister whom he married in 1921. He taught at Amherst College, Massachusetts, and at the University of Durham, before being appointed to the University College of Southampton in 1926. He was head of the Economics Department and then Professor of Economics at Southampton between 1926 and 1959. At Southampton, he made a notable contribution to the development of economics and social science. One of the principal legacies of his long and distinguished career was the creation of the Ford Collection of Parliamentary Papers at the University of Southampton. Professor Ford, together with his wife Grace, set standards for scholarship in the classification and analysis of government publications through their series of Select lists and Breviates. Grace Ford (1896-1981) was born in Attercliffe the daughter of a draper's assistant, John Thomas Lister, who later became a manager of Nottingham Co-operative stores. She left home in her teens for the East End of London to work in Sylvia Pankhurst's experimental nursery schools. Her energy spilled over into Margaret Bondfield's Federation of Women Workers, for whom she brought the Cambridge bedmakers out on strike in 1916.

Access Information

The Special Collections Division is available for anyone to use, regardless of whether you are attached to an academic institution. Access to the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books reading room, however, is by prior appointment to access the manuscript material. See our website for more details.