- Correspondence concerning the University of Glasgow, 1958-1977;
- Correspondence regarding his publications, 1961-1977.
Papers of Sydney George Checkland, 1916-1986, economic historian
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 248 DC 224
- Dates of Creation1958-1977
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description0.4 metres
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Sydney George Checkland was born in Ottowa, Canada, on 9 October 1916 . He was educated at Lisgar Collegiate Institution, Ottowa, and the University of Birmingham, England, where he gained a first class honours BCom in 1941 and an MCom in 1946 . During his time at Birmingham, he was President of the National Union of Students 1941-1942 and of the International Union of Students 1942-1943 . His studies were interrupted by war service and he severely wounded at Normandy, France, whilst serving with the Governor General's Foot Guards. Following the war, he stood as a Parliamentary candidate for the Commonwealth Party in Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England, in the General Election of 1945 . He gained a MA from the University of Cambridge, England, and a PhD from the University of Liverpool, England in 1953.
His first academic appointment in 1946 was assistant lecturer in Economic Science in the University of Liverpool where he progressed quickly to lecturer and then by 1949 was senior lecturer. In 1953 he left Liverpool for Cambridge where he was a University Lecturer in History from 1953-1957 . He also held the post of Lector in History at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, between 1955 and 1957 . He became the first Professor of Economic History University at the University of Glasgow in 1957 , a post he held until 1982 , subsequently becoming a Senior Research Fellow.
He published constantly throughout his career, his distinction being recognised by his election as Fellow of the British Academy in 1977 , and as Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1981 . He was a member of the Economic History Committee of the Social Science Research Council and then a Council member between 1970 and 1972. He was President of the Economic History Society between 1977 and 1980 .
His impact on Scottish business history and Scottish business archives is unsurpassed. He built on his Liverpool University experience of collecting the archives of merchant firms, and initiated the University of Glasgow's collection of business records. His contribution to the archive world continued as chair of the Scottish Records Advisory Council, the National Register of Archives (Scotland) and vice-president of the Business Archives Council of Scotland. His local interests were also expressed in the service on the East Kilbride Development Corporation, an involvement in urban development which lay behind the publication of his study of Glasgow in the The Upas Tree . After his retirement from University teaching was chair of the Industry and Employment Committee of the Social Science Research Council.
His publications include The Rise of Industrial Society in England, 1815-1885 ( 1964 ) ; The Mines of Tharsis: Roman, French and British Enterprise in Spain ( 1967 ) ; The Gladstones: A Family Biography, 1764-1975 ( 1971 ) ; Scottish Banking: A History, 1695-1973 ( 1975 ) ; The Upas Tree: Glasgow 1875-1975: a study in growth and contraction ( 1976 ) ; British Public Policy 1776-1939: An Economic, Social and Political Perspective ( 1983 ) ; Industry and Ethos: Scotland, 1832-1914 ( 1984 ) (with Olive Checkland); , vol 1Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography 1860-1960 ( 1986 , Aberdeen ) and Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography 1860-1960 ( 1990 , Aberdeen ) (co-editor Anthony Slaven) .
Sydney George Checkland died in 1986 .
Sources: Who's Who ( 1979 ) and vol.69College Courant ( University of Glasgow )
The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received
Conditions Governing Access
Deposit : family member : 1978
Deposit : family member : c1982 : ACCN 0579
Deposit : Department of Economic History, University of Glasgow : c1989 : ACCN 1077
Other Finding Aids
Digital file level list available in searchroom
Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)) and London (NRA)
Alternative Form Available
No known copies
Conditions Governing Use
Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist
Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents
This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures. UGD 197 Records of the East Kilbride Development Corporation: Board papers and reports of the East Kilbride Development Corporation 1964-1666, were deaccessioned to South Lanarkshire Council, March 2016.
Held by the family of Sydney Checkland
No known publications using this material
This material is original
Fonds level description compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 21 May 2002. Lower level descriptions compiled by Kim Beasley, Catalogue Retro-Conversion Assistant, 26 June 2016.