CANNAN, Edwin, 1861-1935, economist

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection is divided into two parts, one being material produced by Edwin Cannan himself and the other being his extensive library of books on economics. The material produced by Edwin Cannan himself is numbered 891-1033. This consists of notebooks, notes for lectures, drafts of published works, agreements and correspondence with publishers, and private correspondence. This correspondence covers many aspects of economics and many economists, and includes material on the affairs of the London School of Economics. Edwin Cannan's extensive library of books, numbered 1-890, covers economics in Europe from the 17th-20th centuries.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edwin Cannan, 1861-1935, was born in Funchal, Madeira, and educated at Clifton College and Balliol College, Oxford. Due to an illness which necessitated a long voyage he did not take an honours degree but took political economy as one of his subjects in the pass school. On the strength of his early writings he was invited to lecture on economics at the London School of Economics when it was founded in 1895. He became the effective head of the economics department although he was not created Professor of Political Economy by the University of London until 1907. He also held the position of Dean of the Faculty of Economics in the University of London from 1900 to 1904. He retired in 1926 and spent his time preparing his book A Review of Economic Theory (1929) which embodied the substance of his 60 lecture course on the principles of economics. Cannan was also interested in the practicality of economics. For many years he reviewed current government publications for the Economic Review and he served a term of office on the Oxford City Council. His large knowledge of local government history is shown in his publication History of Local Rates in England . He was also president of Section F of the British Association in 1902 and 1931 and president of the Royal Economic Society 1932 - 1934. The publications for which he is best known are his definitive version of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1904) and his edition of Smith's Glasgow lectures in jurisprudence (1896).


This collection is arranged by the running numbers on the volumes. This arrangement is chronological for the most part.

Conditions Governing Access


Other Finding Aids

Printed catalogue and online catalogue available. The catalogue contains an index to the correspondence. The catalogue for Cannan's library is the card catalogue in the library.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on February 1, 2002

Separated Material

Cambridge University: King's College Archive Centre, holds letters of Cannan (26) to JM Keynes, 1912-1935 (Ref : Keynes papers).

Conditions Governing Use

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