of Commonwealth Studies
of Education, University of London
School of Economics
School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Holloway, University of London
School of Oriental and African Studies
Senate House Library,
University of London
LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
The LSE Archives documents the history of the
social sciences, holding a wide range of primary source material
and rare books relating to British political, economic and social
history and the history of anthropology. Our holdings also include
the archive and journal collections of the Hall-Carpenter Archives,
a national resource for the history of gay activism.
Click on the images to enlarge them.
The Political Economy Club was established in
1821 to promote the knowledge and discussion of the new science
of economics. The Club met monthly and counted a number of prominent
scholars and businessmen amongst its early members, including
Robert Torrens, Thomas Tooke, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus
and James Mill (who took these minutes).
Draft minutes of the first meeting of the Political
Economy Club, 18 April 1821
Execution of Lord Strafford, 1641
The trial and execution of Thomas Wentworth,
1st Earl of Strafford, in 1641 was one of the key events marking
the beginning of the English Civil Wars, in which Parliament
and the Crown fought over political control. Strafford was one
of King Charles I's closest associates but after Parliament
ordered his execution, the King felt he had no choice but to
sign the death warrant. On hearing of his abandonment by the
King, Strafford is reported to have quoted from the Psalms,
'put not your trust in princes
'. This image is taken from
a contemporary tract.
In the late 1880s the Congo Free State, then
under Belgium management, imposed a rubber tax on its native
inhabitants, effectively turning them into forced labour for
gathering wild rubber. Morel first became aware of the situation
in the Congo through his work as clerk for a shipping company
and in 1904 founded the Congo Reform Association to campaign
for change. Morel was an energetic and effective activist and
the movement attracted a number of high profile supporters,
notably the author Arthur Conan Doyle. The rubber tax system
was finally abolished in 1912 and the CRA disbanded in 1913.
Edmund Dene Morel, founder of the Congo Reform Association, c1910
Keir Hardie's 1906 general election address
Born in a one-room cottage in Lanarkshire in
1856 and sent down the mines at the age of 11, Hardie's career
in politics began with the establishment of a trade union at
the colliery where he worked. He became increasingly active
in the developing labour movement and in 1892 entered Parliament
as Britain's first socialist MP. He became the first leader
of the Labour Party in the House of Commons in 1906.
This letter, found in a library book in 2001,
is something of a mystery! On the second page of the letter,
Fred confirms arrangements for another meeting ('Thursday at
eight as the Camden Station'), but as far as we know no further
correspondence between the two men survives and so we do not
know how their relationship developed.
First page of a letter from 'Fred' to 'Jack', 24
Harriet Taylor-Mill, early advocate of women's
Harriet Taylor married the philosopher John
Stuart Mill in 1851 after a twenty-one year friendship. Both
were keen advocates of women's rights and although Harriet herself
published only a few articles during a lifetime, Mill claimed
she made a major intellectual contribution to many of the works
published in his name. This portrait is one of a pair of miniatures;
the other features Harriet's first husband, John Taylor.
Bronislaw Malinowski, a Polish-born anthropologist,
was one of the first anthropologists to emphasize the importance
of detailed fieldwork, arguing that anthropologists should live
in the communities they were studying and have daily contact
with their informants. This photograph shows him observing a
group of children on one of his expeditions to the Trobriand
Islands (in Papua New Guinea).
Bronislaw Malinowski in the Trobriand
Child growth chart, Soviet Union, c1930
This poster is one of a collection of posters
produced by the government of the Soviet Union in the 1930s
to educate mothers about childcare. Other posters show how to
feed, wash and hold babies, how to cut a child's fingernails,
the vitamin contents of different foods and the dangers posed
to children by sharp objects.
Click here for further information about the history of the LSE or visit the LSE Archives webpages to find out more about our collections and services.