Papers of Michael Banton

Scope and Content

This collection comprises research notes and material collected by Michael Banton relating to his research on race relations. Also includes a small number of publications by Banton.

Administrative / Biographical History

Michael Banton was born in 1926. He attended King Edward's School in Birmingham and served in the Navy during the Second World War. After demobilisation he received a scholarship to the London School of Economics, where he read Economics under Edward Shils. While at the LSE Banton received funding from the Noel Buxton Trust to study the West Indian community around Cable Street in Stepney. At this time Banton also went to Sierra Leone to research migration. He was later appointed to a post in the Department of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, where he completed his PhD thesis in 1954. In 1965 he moved to Bristol University and became head of their newly created Sociology Department. It was here that he became more interested in race relations. In 1992 he retired as head of the Sociology Department at Bristol and was appointed Emeritus Professor. Banton has worked as a sociologist and a social anthropologist, editing the Association of Social Anthropologists' volumes with Max Gluckman and spending a year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an 'Africanist'. At Bristol he was, from 1966-69, the first editor of the journal Sociology, and, from 1970-78, Director of the Social Science Research Council Research Unit on Ethnic Relations. He served as President of both the Sociology and the Anthropology sections of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and from 1987-89 as President of the Royal Anthropological Institute. From 1986-2001 he was an elected member (and chairman, 1996-98) of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. He also served as a magistrate for 30 years and, after retiring from Bristol, lived near Down House in Kent.

Access Information

This collection is available for research. Readers are strongly urged to contact Black Cultural Archives in advance of their visit. Some of the material may be stored off-site and advance notice of at least a week is needed in order to retrieve this material.

The reading room is open for access to archive materials Wednesdays-Fridays, 10am-4pm. The reading room is also open late every second Thursday of the month, 1pm-7pm.

Please email the archivist to book an appointment

Custodial History

This collection was deposited by Michael Banton in July 1994.

Geographical Names