Papers of William Stanley Jevons and other members of the Jevons family.
The Jevons collection is a rich source of original material relating to the life and work of William Stanley Jevons, one of the leading economists of the Victorian age, and a founder of the "marginal revolution". However, the collection also includes a substantial body of material on other members of his family, and provides interesting insights on the fortunes of a middle class Unitarian family during the nineteenth century.
The Jevons papers were used extensively in the production of the standard edition of Jevons's papers by Professor R. D. Collison Black and Rosamond Könekamp, Papers and correspondence of William Stanley Jevons, (Macmillan, London, for the Royal Economic Society, 1972-81, 7 volumes).The scope of Professor Black's study is such that JRUL's collection of Jevons' papers may profitably be described in relation to his work. Professor Black's declared intention was to include only that correspondence of William Stanley Jevons relating to economics, and only that family correspondence which touched upon 'external' affairs rather than purely personal matters. The seven volumes also contain Jevons's 'Journal' and a number of previously unpublished works on economic subjects. Thus, while the published correspondence contains letters on economic subjects which are not held in Manchester, the Jevons archives in the Library contain a large body of correspondence on a wide range of other academic subjects, as well as many largely unpublished letters between members of the Jevons family, not covered by Professor Black's edition. In any study of Jevons's correspondence, including papers held elsewhere, the present list can be used to maximum advantage in conjunction with the index (in volume VII) to Professor Black's work.
Though the Library's holdings contain material relating to about 40 members of the Jevons family, and members of the related families of Roscoe, Taylor, and Boyce, the greater part of the collection is directly concerned with William Stanley Jevons (JA/6). This section contains over 600 items of correspondence, including 180 from family and relatives (JA/6/1). Jevons's work, and to a certain extent that of his correspondents, was interdisciplinary, and his academic correspondence (JA/6/2) covers a very wide range of topics. Correspondents include: Sir Robert Palgrave, H.S. Foxwell, Robert Lowe, Walter Bagehot, Sir John Herschel, Alexander Bain, J. E. Cairnes, Léon Walras, George Boole, Augustus de Morgan, Herbert Spencer, Thorold Rogers, and John Stuart Mill.
The collection of Jevons's diaries and notebooks (JA/6/4/1-22) contains, in addition to the published 'Journal' and 'diary of a journey to the diggings', a number of diaries for the period 1854-62, including material on his career in Australia. Jevons's Australian days are perhaps recorded most vividly in the well known collection of original photographs, most of which are contained in two albums (JA/33/1/1-2).
The most extensive section of the whole archive is the collection of material written or collected by Jevons in his study of a wide range of academic disciplines. These are arranged in the following categories: Logic (JA/6/5); Political economy-general (JA/6/6); Political economy-specific subjects (JA/6/7-6/26); natural sciences (JA/6/27-6/32); social science topics (JA/6/33-6/44), and miscellaneous 'minor' topics (JA/6/45-48).
In addition to the manuscripts of his principal published works, there are a number of substantial pieces of lesser-known writing. These include 'A fundamental error in the late Prof. Boole's method of probabilities' (JA/6/5/12); 'The solar influence on commerce' (JA/6/2/11); 'Experimental legislation and the drink traffic' (JA/6/33/3); and 'The rationale of free public libraries' (JA/6/41/1). Other material includes printed copies of Jevons's articles and pamphlets, newscuttings and other printed items relating to his subjects of study, and copies of articles by contemporary students of the same fields of scholarship. Above all, there is a mass of rough notes and drafts on a great range of subjects which provide invaluable evidence as to the nature of Jevons's preliminary research and thoughts. There is a particular profusion of such notes on J. S. Mill's logical methods (JA/6/5/42-96); the quantification of the predicate (JA/6/5/104-50); logic in general (JA/6/5/152-220); banks and banking (JA/6/7/1-142); coal (JA/6/9/1-225); iron and steel (JA/6/13/1-79); land (JA/6/14/1-62); sunspots and economic fluctuations (JA/6/21/1-68); taxation (JA/6/22/1-55); trade and commerce (6/23/1-186); human nature and evolution (JA/6/36/1-86); and population (JA/6/42/1-93). Of particular sociological interest are certain groups of material on matters not usually associated with Jevons's work. These include the original forms from a survey on family budgetting (JA/6/34), contemporary data on infant mortality and welfare (JA/6/38) and material for a study of the social consequences of the employment of women (JA/6/44). Jevons's papers are followed by three small compilations consisting of documents relating to his career (JA/6/49), printed comments on his work (JA/6/50) and obituary material (JA/6/51).
Of the forty or so other members of the Jevons family who figure in the archives, the best represented are William Stanley's father Thomas (JA/3); Thomas' eldest daughter Lucy Ann Hutton (JA/4) (William Stanley Jevons' sister); Harriet Ann (JA/7), William Stanley's wife; and their son Herbert Stanley Jevons (JA/8). There is a substantial body of largely unpublished correspondence addressed to both Thomas and Harriet Ann Jevons. Documents trace the career of Thomas as a businessman and inventor, while Lucy's papers include a lengthy manuscript entitled 'Recollections of my brother', written shortly after his death. A number of Harriet's diaries of touring holidays survive, as do ephemera relating to Herbert Stanley's childhood. The remaining family correspondence includes 36 letters from William Stanley Jevons to his elder brother Herbert (JA/5), 44 to his younger sister Henrietta Elizabeth ('Henny') (JA/10), and 18 to his youngest brother Thomas Edwin (JA/11). There is valuable genealogical information on the families of Jevons and Roscoe, and a few items relate to Harriet Ann Jevons's relations, the Taylors and the Boyces.
The ephemera which conclude the list include numerous family photographs (JA/33); an original watercolour painting of Bay Lodge, Bowdon, Cheshire, the family home of Harriet Ann Jevons and her sisters, and three original tinted drawings; three printed books bound by the young William Stanley Jevons (JA/34); and a small collection of nineteenth century maps of London (JA/35).