Michael Postan: Papers

Scope and Content

1. Research material

Research notes by Michael Postan and others, mainly on medieval history, some of which have been sorted and identified by Postan's pupil, J.Z. Titow. The papers include material relating to the research seminars on medieval economic subjects run by Postan and Eileen Power at the L.S.E., 1925-1926, at which Doris Leech, Marian Dale, Mary Ransome and other members collected information. There are also some notes by J.Z. Titow.

Box A: Research notes on manorial records

Box B: Research notes on medieval trade

Box C: Research notes on medieval economic history

Box D: Accounts of the Bishopric of Winchester

Box E: Data on medieval economics

Box F: Papers on medieval economics

2. Correspondence and papers

Correspondence, drafts of lectures, articles and other papers.

Box G: Green folders 1-21

Box H: Green folders 22-34

Box I: Green folders 35-55

Box J: Cambridge Economic History of Europe, 9 files

Box K: Correspondence

K/1: Correspondence (academic), 1944-1965, 9 files

K/2: Eileen Power Studentship, 1940-1981, 4 files

K/3: Economic History Conference, 2 files

K/4: Berkeley Castle manuscripts, 1 envelope

Box L: Lectures, articles and reviews

L/1: Drafts and lectures on various subjects, 7 files

L/2: Reviews, 1 file

L/3: Publications

Administrative / Biographical History

Michael Moissey ('Munia') Postan (1899-1981) was born in Bessarabia in September 1899. He came to England in 1920, and studied at the London School of Economics from 1921 (B.Sc., 1924; M.A., 1926). In 1926 he became the research assistant of Eileen Power (1889-1940), whom he married in 1937. He edited Power's Ford Lectures for publication after her death, and published some of her essays as Medieval women (1975). Postan held lectureships at University College London, 1927-1931, and at the L.S.E, 1931-1935. He became a lecturer in economic history at Cambridge University and Fellow of Peterhouse in 1935, and was Professor of Economic History, 1938-1965. Postan edited The economic history review, 1934-1960, and was also editor of the Cambridge economic history of Europe. During the Second World War, he served in the Ministry of Economic Warfare and as Official Historian of Munitions. He helped found the International Economic History Association in 1960, and was knighted in 1980. He married his second wife, Lady Cynthia Keppel, in 1944, with whom he had two sons. He died on 12 December 1981.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Lady Cynthia Postan, 1983 and 1997.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

There is a detailed description of the collection in the Additional Manuscripts Catalogue, available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.