CARR-SAUNDERS, Sir Alexander Morris. 1886-1966, Knight economist and educationist

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Sections A and B consist of papers found in the Old Dead Registry of the London School of Economics in 1980. Section A files have LSE Registry numbers and concern School affairs. Section B files were not registered, and relate to his research interests and public service, including outgoing letters, general correspondence and subject files. These include some confidential School business. The general correspondence files (B2) include material relating to organisations such as For Intellectual Liberty and the Eugenics Society, and the subject files include material concerning juvenile delinquency, populations, and the Commission on Higher Education in the Colonies. A small quantity of additional material, listed as Section C comprise engagement diaries and letters of congratulation to Sir Alexander on becoming Director of LSE.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders, 1886-1966, was born in Reigate and educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he gained a first in zoology in 1908. He was awarded the Naples Table, a scholarship in Biology, and returned to Oxford for a year as a demonstrator. He left Oxford for London in 1910 and, after studying biometrics under Karl Pearson, decided that he did not want a career as a natural scientist and therefore read for the Bar. He became the secretary of the Eugenics Education Society and lived at Toynbee Hall, in the East End of London, where he was a sub-warden from 1910 to 1914. He also took an interest in local politics, becoming a member of Stepney Borough Council. When war broke out in 1914, he attempted to join the London-Scottish Regiment, but the standard of his spoken French was such that he got a commission in the Royal Army Service Corps and was posted to a ration depot at Suez, where he stayed for the duration of the war. After World War One, he returned to Oxford to work in the Zoology department, taking a particular interest in the issue of population. He served on the Royal Commission on Population, 1944-1949. The success of his publication The Population Problem led to his appointment to the Charles Booth Chair of Social Science at the University of Liverpool in 1923. Here he established a reputation for the teaching of social sciences, and furthered the role of social science as a University discipline. In 1937, he was invited to succeed Sir William Beveridge as Director of the London School of Economics, a post that he held until his retirement in 1955. Carr-Saunders was also involved in the Colonial Office's plans to found universities in British colonial territories and the Sudan, chairing a number of committees and commissions between 1947 and 1962. He was knighted in 1946, and created FBA in 1946 and KBE in 1957. He received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Glasgow, Columbia, Natal, Dublin, Liverpool, Cambridge, Malaya, Grenoble and London, and was made honorary fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, the University College of East Africa, and LSE.

Arrangement

This collection is divided into Section A: LSE registered files; Section B: unregistered files - general correspondence and personal files; Section B: engagement diaries and letters of congratulation.

Conditions Governing Access

Open

Other Finding Aids

Printed handlist and online catalogue available.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on February 1, 2002

Separated Material

Papers of Carr-Saunders are also held by the Public Record Office; Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts; National Library of Wales; Rice University: Woodson Research Center; Oxford University: Rhodes House Library. See the National Register of Archives for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Apply to Archivist.

Custodial History

No coherent collection of Carr-Saunders's papers has yet been found. Sections A and B consist of papers found in the Old Dead Registry of the London School of Economics in 1980. A small quantity of additional material, listed as Section C, was donated by Sir Alexander's son Dr Edmund Carr-Saunders. These were received as two deposits, namely engagement diaries and letters of congratulation to Sir Alexander on becoming Director of LSE.

Related Material

The British Library of Political and Economic Science holds papers of Carr-Saunders in the papers of R H Tawney (Ref: TAWNEY); in the papers of Lord Beveridge Ref: BEVERIDGE); correspondence with the editors of the Economic Journal (Ref: BLPES/RES/6/1/79; 16/13).