Humphreys, Professor Robert Arthur

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

These papers are largely concerned with Humphreys' involvement in the development and promotion of Latin American Studies in Britain. The collection is roughly divided into three series. The 'correspondence' section includes letters from a variety of people, including British historians such as Hugh Hale Bellot and historians of Latin America and the USA (1934 to 1982). Amongst the papers of committees and conferences promoting Latin American Studies in Great Britain in the second section are: papers of the University College London Advisory Committee and the University Grants Committee on Latin American Studies; correspondence relating to committees; interview papers and reports. The third section contains items created by Professor Humphreys including unpublished papers, and printed newspaper articles.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert (Robin) Arthur Humphreys was born on 6 June 1907. He received his early education at Lincoln School and at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He then stayed on at Cambridge to obtain his BA (1929) but moved to the United States in 1930 for a two-year term as Commonwealth Fund Fellow at the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in 1932. He returned to Britain in 1932 to become Assistant Lecturer in American History at University College London (UCL) and was promoted to Lecturer in 1935 and then became the first Professor of Latin American History in 1948, a post that he held until his retirement in 1974.

Humphreys' other commitments included being: honorary secretary of the Royal Historical Society between 1953 and 1955 (elected President in 1961); member of the University Grants Committee on Latin American Studies, 1962-64; member of the UCL Advisory Committee on Latin American Studies from 1962 to 1965, and Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies from 1965. He received an O.B.E in 1946. He was made a Commander of the Rio Branco, Brazil (1972) and received the Machado de Assis Medal from the Academia Brasileira de Letras (1974). He died in 1999.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection was previously restricted until the death of Professor Humphreys, but is now unrestricted. Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Gift from Professor Humphreys in 1972; additions in 1976, 1978 and 1982.

Other Finding Aids

Piers Cain, Papers of Robert Arthur Humphreys , University of London Library (1982)

Archivist's Note

Separated Material

The British Library of Political and Economic Science, London University, holds papers relating to the USA, [1940-1945] (Ref: Coll Misc 515).

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Geographical Names