Papers of John Desmond Hargreaves

Scope and Content

Personal papers of John Desmond Hargreaves, relating to his work at the University of Aberdeen and his involvement with archives in the Northeast of Scotland. University-related papers include outlines of history courses and seminars, student essays and miscellaneous, c 1970 - 1980; papers on Academia , the committee for co-operation with overseas universities and the Aberdeen University African Studies Group, 1959 - 1992; miscellaneous papers relating to the Quincentenary History Project, 1981 - 1995; miscellaneous printed papers, including Aberdeen University Annual Reports, 1968 - 1980; Aberdeen University Statistics Report, 1968 - 1984; Aberdeen University Accounts, 1968 - 1983; Social Science Research Council newsletters and papers, 1972 - 1987; and other printed material on University-related topics, by the Higher Education Group, Association of University Teachers, University Grants Committee, and Scottish Education Department, 1962 - 1984. Records relating to Hargreaves' involvement with archives and archives administration cover the period 1965 - 1985, and include details of his work with the Survey of Business and Estate Records in Noth East Scotland; of various conferences on records in the North East of Scotland; and of his work on the Forbes of Boyndlie and Dunvegan muniments.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Desmond Hargreaves (b 1924) graduated from Manchester University (MA, 1948) and was awarded an honorary D Litt by the University of Sierra Leone in 1984. He came to Aberdeen University in 1954 as lecturer in the department of history, and was subsequently appointed Professor of history, 1962 - 1984 and honorary professor of history, 1985 - 1999. An internationally respected authority on imperialism, his principal work has been in the field of African and imperial history, with a second edition of his well known Decolonisation in Africa published by Longman in 1996. Hargreaves was also a major contributor to the University of Aberdeen's Quincentenary celebrations in 1995, editing the second volume in the University's Quincentenial Studies in the History of the University series, Aberdeen University, 1945 - 1981: Regional Roles and National Needs (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1989) and writing the ninth, Academe and Empire: Some Overseas Connections of Aberdeen University 1860-1970 (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1994).

For further details of his life and work see Roy Bridges, John D. Hargreaves: an Academic Memoir and Bibliography (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Dept of History, 1997)


The records have been sorted by subject matter, and are awaiting listing, but will be made available to bona fide researchers

Access Information

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Gifted to the University in Nov 1987 by J.D. Hargreaves.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

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Additional Information

This material is original