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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleRichards, Audrey Isabel (1899-1984), anthropologist
Extent39 boxes and 4 plans
Admin Biographical HistoryDr Audrey Richards was born in 1899, the daughter of Sir Henry Erle Richards, a legal member of the vice-regal council of India. She attended Downe House School near Newbury and read Natural Sciences at Cambridge. After graduating, she worked as an assistant to Gilbert Murray, and from 1924 to 1928 was secretary to Labour Department of the League of Nations Union.
Richards registered as a PhD student at the London School of Economics in 1928 under Bronislaw Malinowski. She carried out anthropological fieldwork among the Bemba of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, from 1930 to 1931, returning to the School to become lecturer in Social Anthropology, 1933-1934. The major subjects of her Bemba research were food production and nutrition and, because women were the principal farmers, women's work and women's lives. She also investigated Bemba politics and government. Later, Richards worked among Tswana of the Transvaal region of South Africa in 1939-40 and in Uganda intermittently between 1950 and 1955. From 1937 to 1940 she was senior lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
During the Second World War, Richards worked for the Colonial Office and was closely connected with the Colonial Social Science Research Council. She returned to the LSE in 1946 as a Reader in Social Anthropology, going on to become director of the East African Institute of Social Research, Makerere University, Uganda in 1950. Here she carried out extensive research into Ugandan (particularly Bugandan) affairs. This research concentrated on political and economic organisation. From 1956 to 1966, she was Fellow of Newnham College Cambridge, and from 1961 to1966 she held the Smuts Readership. She was president of the African Studies Association from 1963 to 1966, and president of the Royal Anthropological Institute from 1959 to 1961. She was awarded a CBE in 1955.
DescriptionRichards' anthropological papers, including field notes from her research in Zambia and Uganda, together with a parallel set of field diaries, and a few diaries and notes from her research in South Africa. Also includes: texts, drafts, and notes for papers and lectures; correspondence, mainly relating to anthropological subjects; material about Bronislaw Malinowski; letters from Africa to Richards' mother and sister; testimonials and other material relating to Richards' career; printed material, including offprints and a press cuttings book; also additional material from sources other than Richards.
Related MaterialPersonal collection of photographs is at the RAI; Elmdon fieldnotes and Bemba slides at the Cambridge University Dept of Social Anthropology (Source for this information = RAIN, no 64, 1984)
Copyright TypeOther
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