Institute for Operational Research

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive comprises the minutes and reports of the Basic Research Fund, 1965-70, and the minutes of the Steering Committee, 1967-68; General Purposes Committee (later the IOR Affairs Committee), 1969-73; Industrial Programme Group, 1969; Permanent Staff Group, 1969-71; and the Progress and Planning Committee, 1967-69. It also holds the IOR Newsletter, 1969-70; the 'T-series' of IOR reports, 1963-67; reports and memoranda, 1965-80; and the private papers of Neil Jessop, for 1962; John Stringer, 1950-95; and John Friend, 1966-95.

The archive has been catalogued to file level. A copy of this catalogue is available both online and in paper format in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources.

All files were originally given a running reference number by the IOR and these reference numbers have been incorporated into the Modern Records Centre's reference scheme. In some cases a number was not issued by the IOR and this has been noted in the list as [no. not used].

The files cover a wide range of subjects and were given the next number in the series regardless of content. Thus, for example, MSS.335/IOR/26 is a training report and MSS.335/IOR/27 is the minutes of the Basic Research Fund. An index has thus been compiled for the paper version of this list to help identify the minutes of various committees and to the newsletters. Minutes relating to the advisory and industrial panels of the IOR can also be found in the papers of George Barnard (MSS.335/MIS/2).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Institute for Operational Research (IOR) was established on 1 May 1963 as a semi-autonomous unit of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR), which provided 'an administrative and spiritual home for the new research institute'. The idea was originated within the Operational Research Society by Neil Jessop. Professor R. Ackoff initiated talks between the Operational Research Society and the TIHR. Neil Jessop was the first Director of the IOR and Sir Charles Goodeve was first Chairman of the IOR advisory committee. Neil Jessop died suddenly on 26 April 1969, and was succeeded by his deputy, John Stringer. The IOR was re-organised and run by the Director and an elected committee of staff. In 1973, the IOR agreed to an internal merger with a group of social scientists from the TIHR with whom they had worked for a number of years. In 1979, this inter-disciplinary unit adopted the title Centre for Organisational and Operational Research (COOR). The COOR disbanded in 1985. Staff numbers had declined and the work of the COOR became difficult to differentiate from that of the TIHR.

Reference:MSS.335/IOR/COOR40; MSS.335/IOR/6/1; MSS.335/SO/16/1.


This collection forms part of the Operational Research and Operational Research Society Archive (MSS.335), which was deposited with the Centre by operational research practitioners.

Conditions Governing Access

The archive is open for research, with the exception of unpublished material that is less than 30 years old.

Acquisition Information

The archive was deposited at the Modern Records Centre in March 1995.

Other Finding Aids

Authority files exist for the Institute for Operational Research (GB 152 AAR1428), the Centre for Organisational and Operational Research (GB 152 AAR1432), the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (GB 152 AAR1433), John Friend (GB 152 AAR1438), John Stringer (GB 152 AAR1439), and Neil Jessop (GB 152 AAR1440).

Archivist's Note

MSS.335/IOR catalogued by Eleanor Rowe to file level in March 1998. Collection-level description created by Charles Fonge, November 1999. Finding aid retroconverted in March 2000.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.


Further deposits are not expected.