The History of Higher Education in Bloomsbury and Westminster

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Institute of Education, University of London

King's College London

London School of Economics

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Royal Holloway, University of London

School of Oriental and African Studies

Senate House Library, University of London

University College London

University of Westminster


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).

Minutes of first meeting of the Political Economy Club

Draft minutes of the first meeting of the Political Economy Club, 18 April 1821

Execution of Lord Strafford

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

Edmund Dene Morel, founder of the Congo Reform Association, c1910

Keir Hardie's 1906 general election address

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 September 1907

Harriet Taylor-Mill

Harriet Taylor-Mill, early advocate of women's rights, c1830

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 Islands

Bronislaw Malinowski in the Trobriand Islands, c1915-1918

Child growth chart, Soviet Union

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.

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