ADAMS, Sir Walter, 1906-1975, Knight, economist

Scope and Content

Papers of Sir Walter Adams, [1906]-1974, comprising personal correspondence with family and friends and material relating to early historical and academic work, 1930-[1975]; papers relating to the Commission on African Higher Education, 1949-1952; material relating to Adams' time as Principal of the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1953-1966, including correspondence concerning his appointment, papers regarding overseas visits and conferences, and administrative and financial papers relating to the UCRN; texts and notes for speeches made by Adams, 1945-1966, including some on education in Africa; correspondence by Adams as Principal of UCRN, 1955-1974, including personal letters and testimonials; later papers relating to educational issues in Rhodesia, 1967-1974; material relating to Adam's time as Director of the London School of Economics, 1966-1973, notably correspondence relating to his appointment, minutes and associated papers of LSE committees, official correspondence with administrative and academic staff, papers relating to the Students' Union, selection committees, the Library Appeal, the LSE Magazine, press and publicity, and student unrest; semi-official correspondence of Adams as Director of the LSE, 1967-1974; papers concerning the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, 1968-1972; papers relating to the placement of foreign refugee scholars (notably from Czechoslovakia), 1968-1971; speeches and writings for audiences outside the LSE, 1967-1972; engagement books, 1968-1973; photographs, [1900s-1973], including early family photographs, and group photos at UCRN and the LSE.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born 1906; educated Sussex Grammar School and University College London; Lecturer in History, University College London, 1926-1934; Rockefeller Fellow in USA, 1929-1930; Organising Secretary, Second International Congress of the History of Science and Technology, 1931; Secretary, Academic Assistance Council, 1933-1938; Secretary, London School of Economics, 1938-1946; Deputy Head, British Political Warfare Mission, USA, 1942-1944; Assistant Deputy Director-General, Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office, 1945; OBE, 1945; Secretary, Inter-University Council for Higher Education in the Colonies, 1946-1955; CMG, 1952; Principal, University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1955-1967; Director, London School of Economics, 1967-1974; Kt, 1970; died 1975.
Publications: joint-editor of The Diary of Robert Hooke, 1672-1680 (Taylor & Francis: London, 1935).


The papers are arranged in sections as outlined in the Scope and Content.

Access Information

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Archivist's Note

Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97; Historical Manuscripts Commission National Register of Archives. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Separated Material

Rhodes House Library, Oxford University, holds correspondence with Margery Perham (Ref: MSS Perham); the Brotherton Library, Leeds University, has letters to Esther Simpson, 1935-1974 (Ref: MS959); the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, contains correspondence relating to the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, 1933-1976 (Ref: SPSL).

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by British Library of Political and Economic Science.

Custodial History

Given by the family in 1978.

Related Material

The BLPES holds copies of Black and White , the student journal of the University College of Rhodesia (Ref: Coll Misc 1881), and correspondence between Adams and Dr C Board concerning a geography survey of taxi availability in central London (Ref: Coll Misc 10335). Further material relating to Sir Walter Adams is held in the papers of the LSE Archives (Ref: Adams/0001-0004 and Central Filing Registry/453/7/1/A-B); and the papers of Dr Audrey Richards (Ref: Richards/16/2).