Papers of Professor William T. Baxter (1906-2006) relating to Kenneth E. Boulding (1910-1993)

Scope and Content

Professor Kenneth E. Boulding had kept in touch with Professor William T. Baxter throughout his career, and the collection of Baxter papers here at Edinburgh is composed largely of American-style circular letters distributed to friends at Christmas and describing family life, visits, events during the year past, and ambitions for the coming year. There are letters from: 1967; 1968; 1969; 1971; 1980; 1981; 1982; 1984; 1985; 1986; and 1990.

The collection is also composed of:

  • - three photographs of Boulding: two of which show Boulding himself, and one which is a family group
  • - a copy of the poems Sonnet for my muse I, and Sonnet for my muse II
  • - a copy of the poem Sonnet, first line of which is 'Spring is a lovely, tantalising jade!'
  • - copy of Carols and hymns, from 1939 to 1989, by Kenneth Boulding
  • - postcard from Japan, dated 28 November 1963, printed with Haiku from the Japanese which was the Boulding family epistle for Christmas 1963
  • - publisher's circular for Thora's Saga - A tale of old Iceland by J. Russell Boulding
  • - photo-copy of some pages (pp.85-89) from Beasts, ballads, and Bouldingisms
  • - obituaries - Kenneth E. Boulding - Times 22 March 1993, and New York Times 20 March 1993
 There is also a copy of The theory of a single investment by Kenneth E. Boulding.

Contained within a signed (by Baxter) copy of the 1st edition of Boulding's Economic Analysis which was also contained in the transit from the Baxter estate (and about which see the Library Catalogue) there were pencil-work inserts composed of the following:  

  • - from pp.702-703 - Growth of tree
  • - from pp.672-673 - Optimum mix (2 pencil sheets); Boulding p.500
  • - from pp.424-425 - Cost and Rev; Cost curves

In a

Administrative / Biographical History

At the time of his death in 2006, Professor William T. Baxter CA, was Emeritus Professor of Accounting at the London School of Economics (LSE). He had joined the LSE just after the end of the Second World War following periods spent as a student in the USA (at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard), as a part-time Lecturer at Edinburgh University, and as Professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

While in Edinburgh in the 1930s, Baxter met Kenneth E. Boulding (1910-1993), economist, philosopher, poet and Nobel-nominee. Born in Liverpool, England in 1910, and an Oxford garduate, Boulding had held fellowships at Harvard and Chicago, and after a short spell of teaching at Edinburgh University went to the USA for good and finally settled at the University of Colorado. Boulding's first book Economic analysis was an introductory text book which 'blended Keynesian and neoclassical economic theory into a coherent synthesis'. He believed that 'depressions are due to too little private spending and that governments should run deficits to end them'. Baxter is lauded for his theory of deprival value and its use in nationalised and private utilities in the UK, and for his contribution to the accounting standards debate.

Professor William T. Baxter died in 2006 at the age of 99-years, and just short of his 100th birthday. Professor Kenneth E. Boulding died in 1993.

Access Information

Open to bona fide researchers though Data Protection rules and regulations apply, and so please contact repository about any visit in advance of that visit.

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Acquisition Information

Material acquired from Baxter estate through Professor Geoff. Whittington (Cambridge) in February 2009. Accession No. E2009.03


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Celebrating the Work of an Accounting Great: Professor W.T. Baxter Full-text [online].  [Accessed 17 February 2009]. (2) Material contained within the collection.

Other Finding Aids

None created for this collection.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.

Related Material

1st edition of Boulding's Economic Analysis and a copy of Creative Tension: The life and thought of Kenneth Boulding by Cynthia Earl Kerman were donated to Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library by the Baxter estate. Apply for access to these at Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library: Economic Analysis, Boulding, at shelfmark RB.S.180; and, Creative Tension: The life and thought of Kenneth Boulding, Cynthia Earl Kerman, at shelfmark RB.S.179. See Library Catalogue for other bibliographic detail.