TITMUSS, Richard Morris, 1907-1973, Professor of Social Administration

Scope and Content

Papers and correspondence regarding finance and tax (Labour Party); papers and notes from Titmuss' social administration related research; papers and correspondence relating to the London School of Economics; official papers and notes from Titmuss' involvement with advisory committees and international organisations; overseas research papers and notes.

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard Morris Titmuss, 1907-1973, was educated at St Gregory's preparatory school in Luton and at the age of fourteen went on to Clark's Commercial College for a six month course in bookkeeping. At eighteen he was engaged as a probationary clerk to the County Fire Insurance Office and he stayed there for the next sixteen years. In 1937, Titmuss married Kay Miller, who influenced his interests towards more social and political themes. He began writing articles on topics such as public health and migration, and his first book 'Poverty and Population' was published in 1938. When war broke out, Titmuss' job in war damage insurance became a reserved occupation. However, his name was added to the Ministry of Labour's Central Register of professional people. In this capacity he informally advised the Ministry of Information on some social survey reports and was statistical adviser in a voluntary capacity to the Ministries of Health and Economic Warfare on wartime German vital statistics.

In 1942, he left the County Fire Insurance Office to join a group of historians commissioned to write the civil histories of the Second World War and to cover the work of the Ministry of Health. Throughout this period he continued writing on the problems of poverty and population, publishing books, and from late 1944 working as a statistical and demographic adviser to Luton. His interest in social inequality led him to abandon the Liberal Party and join other wartime political groups. He worked with the Liberal MP Sir Richard Acland, whose publication 'Unser Kampf' demanded that steps should be taken during the war towards a new order of society. They formed a group called Forward March which then merged with other groups to become the short lived Commonwealth Party.

In 1947, Titmuss was working as Social Economist and Deputy Director of the Social Medicine Research Unit. However with the publication of his book 'Problems of Social Policy' academic employment opened up for him. He was offered the chairs of social administration at Birmingham and the London School of Economics and chose LSE, arriving in 1950. Here he continued to define and analyse social services and to establish the academic respectability of social administration until his retirement.


This collection is arranged in 6 sections:
1. Finance and Tax (Labour Party), 1918-1973.
2. Social Administration Related Research, 1910-1972.
3. London School of Economics, 1948-1973.
4. Advisory Committees and International Organisations, 1934-1973.
5. Overseas Research, 1960-1972.
6. Miscellaneous, 1930-1973.

Access Information


Other Finding Aids

Printed handlist and online catalogue available.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on May 29, 2002

Conditions Governing Use