HANCOCK, Sir (William) Keith (1898-1988)

Scope and Content

Research and political papers of Sir (William) Keith Hancock, 1896-1978: comprising papers relating to Hancock's chairmanship of the Buganda Constitutional Committee, 1954, including official correspondence, papers of seminar on constitutional issues in Uganda, background notes by Hancock, correspondence with Sir Andrew Cohen, Governor of Uganda, minutes and papers of the Buganda Constitutional Committee and Steering Committee, minutes of the Namiremba Conference, papers on the Uganda Development Corporation, the Uganda National Congress, notes of discussions in Ankole, Toro, Bunyoro and Kitara, and press cuttings; correspondence and press cuttings on Hancock's books British War Economy and Problems of Social Policy (History of the Second Word War UK Civil Series Vols 1 and 2), 1949-1950; press cuttings on the Liberal summer school, July 1955; papers collected and generated during Hancock's work on the biography and selected papers of Jan Christiaan Smuts (1870-1950); correspondence regarding, and black and white photograph of bust of Hancock by Alan Jervis (1952); tapes of radio broadcasts by Hancock on ABC, mainly autobiographical, also comments on arms control and the atomic bomb, Australia's defence treaties and relations with the USA, undated (c.1978).

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir (William) Keith Hancock was born in Melbourne, Australia on 26 June 1898. and obtained his BA at Melbourne University. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, 1922-1923, and obtained a BA with 1st class honours in modern history. In 1923 he was the first Australian to be awarded a Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, and in 1924 he returned to Australia to be professor of modern history at Adelaide University. He was professor of modern history at Birmingham University from 1933-1944, and professor of economic history at Oxford University, 1944-1949. He was appointed to the War Cabinet Offices as Supervisor of Civil Histories, 1941, and thereafter editor of series. In 1949 he became the first director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, and professor of British Commonwealth affairs, London University. In 1954 he headed an inquiry into constitutional problems in Buganda. The Report was published by HMSO in 1954 as Cmd 9320, Uganda Protectorate Buganda [Namirembe Conference].
In 1957 he became director of the Research School of Social Sciences at Australian National University (ANU), and was created the first University Fellow of ANU on his retirement in 1961. He was knighted in 1953, and awarded the KBE in 1965.
Publications: Ricasolo 1926), Australia (1930), Survey of British Commonwealth Affairs (1937, 1940 and 1942), Politics in Pitcairn (with M M Gowing) (1947); British War Economy (1949), Country and Calling (1954), War and Peace in this Century (1961), Smuts: The Sanguine Years, 1870-1919 Vol 1 (1962), The Fields of Force, 1919-1950 Vol 2 (1968), Discovering Monaro (1972), Professing History (1976), Perspective in History (1982), Testimony (1985).


The papers are arranged in five series, as described above.

Access Information

Open although advance notice should be given. Access to individual items may be restricted under the Data Protection Act or Freedom of Information legislation.

Acquisition Information

The source of acquisition by ICS is not known.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued to file level (see link to repository catalogue).

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Conditions Governing Use

A photocopying service is available, at the discretion of the Library staff. Copies are supplied solely for research or private study. Requests to publish, or to quote from, original material should be submitted to the Information Resources Manager.

Related Material

There are additional papers on the constitutional crisis in Buganda, 1954 in ICS 110.