British Association for the Advancement of Science Section F (Economics)

Scope and Content

The records of Section F principally concern the annual conferences of the British Association and the involvement of the Section in them, 1973-1998.

The bulk of the collection consists of files which mostly contain correspondence and minutes. They also include programmes for the conferences, publishing contracts, financial accounts, draft copies of articles and lectures.

In addition to these files, there is a selection of the publications which were produced by Section F, including some of the publications of the proceedings of Section F at the annual conferences of the British Association. Finally there are various exhibits which were part of the 'British Economists' exhibition by Leslie Smyth at the University of Keele.

Administrative / Biographical History

Section F of the British Association for the Advancement of Science was founded in 1833 by the British Association, which had itself been founded in 1831. The idea of a section of the British Association which could concentrate on economic and social problems was developed principally by Charles Babbage, Thomas Malthus and Adam Sidgwick. The first meeting was held in 1834 under the presidency of Sir Charles Lemmon.

At its inception the Section became known as the Statistical Section, and became known in addition as Section F in 1835. In 1856 its title was changed from the Statistical Section to the Section of Economic Science and Statistics. Finally in 1948 Section F became the Economics Section of the British Association.

The principal focus of Section F was the annual conference of the British Association and, from 1966 onwards, the publication of its proceedings at these conferences, although it has in the past run its own research projects through standing committees.

Section F is currently still extant. The principal officers in Section F are the President, the Vice President and the Recorder. The president is appointed annually by the Council of the British Association and is not eligible for re-election. The president has been the editor of the proceedings of Section F at the annual conferences of the British Association since they began to be published.


The collection is arranged chronologically within the series in which it arrived in the archive.
Section 1. Correspondence files relating to annual conferences of the British Association, 1978-1986;
Section 2. General correspondence files relating to the administration of Section F, mostly concerning publications which resulted from the annual conferences;
Section 3. Selection of the publications which Section F produced;
Section 4. Photographs from Leslie Smyth's 'British Economists' exhibition.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited by British Association for the Advancement of Science Section F (Economics)

Other Finding Aids

Detailed list available from Archives staff.

Archivist's Note

Sources: Copied from LSE Archives CALM database by Anna Towlson.

Conditions Governing Use

Most items can be photocopied, subject to handling and copyright restrictions. No material may be published without the prior permission of both the copyright holder and the Library. All applications for publication must be made to the Archivist in the first instance, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user.