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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleRobbins; Lionel Charles (1898-1984); Baron Robbins; economist
Date1914 - 1987
Extent155 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryLionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins (1898 - 1984) was an economist whose legacy has been described as covering three main areas: 'the academic discipline of economics; UK domestic and international economic policy, especially in the Second World War; and the arts in Britain' (p1 of 'Lionel Robbins', Susan Howson, Cambridge University press, 2011).
Lionel Robbins was educated at Southall County School, University College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He served in the First World War in the Royal Field Artillery, initially in training in England then on active duty in France, until he was wounded and sent home in the spring of 1918. He initially studied arts at University College London before the First World War. After returning from the war he changed his course of study to economics, starting at LSE in 1920.
He worked as a lecturer at New College Oxford University (1924), as a lecturer at LSE (1925-1927), as a Fellow and lecturer, again at New College (1927-1929) and then returning to be Professor of Economics at LSE, 1929 - 1961, where he continued to work part-time until 1981-1982. During his time at LSE he sat on the Court of Governors (1968 - 1974) and headed up the LSE Library Appeal in the early 1970s.
His most highly regarded book on economics is 'An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science' (1932). A more comprehensive list of his publications is given in the publications section.
During the Second World War Lionel Robbins worked for the Economic Section of the War Cabinet and was Chair of the section from 1941 - 1945. As such he was heavily involved in the creation of the British total war economy. He was also very involved in the direction of post war international economics. He was part of the British delegation at Bretton Woods in 1944 and after the war was part of an Advisory Council for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), 1948 - 1949.
He was President of the Royal Economic Society from 1954 - 1955. He had a strong interest in the arts and held a number of positions: member of the Committee on the Export of Works of Art, 1950 - 1952; Trustee of the National Gallery, 1952 - 1974; Trustee at the Tate Gallery, 1953 - 1967; and a Director on the Board of the Royal Opera House, 1955 - 1981.
From 1961 - 1970 he was Chairman of the Financial Times. In 1960 he was invited to head up a Committee on Higher Education 'to review the pattern of full-time higher education in Great Britain and in the light of national needs and resources to advise Her Majesty's Government on what principles its long-term development should be based.' The report of the committee, which became known as the Robbins Report, advocated the benefits of higher education for all and the expansion of higher education to ensure everyone has access. This led to further involvement in higher education including a position as first Chancellor of Stirling University from 1968 - 1978.
Lionel Robbins died in 1984.
Custodial HistoryThese papers were left to LSE by Lionel Robbins and arrived at LSE Library in 2011. There have been some accruals to the collection and it is possible there may be more in the future.
DescriptionContains professional and personal papers collected by Lionel Robbins. This includes his lecture notes; speeches and papers; notebooks and poetry written when he was a young man; correspondence with family and friends; correspondence with other economists; materials relating to the work of the Economics department at LSE; materials relating to the Troubles at LSE; material relating to the LSE Library Appeal; the work of the Court of Governors; Economic Advisory Council (EAC) papers; correspondence , diaries and reports from his time working for the Economic Section of the War Cabinet during the Second World War; proofs, drafts and reviews of his publications; records of Honorary degrees and other memberships and awards held or granted to Lionel Robbins; correspondence and papers regarding the work resulting in the Robbins Report (1963); correspondence and papers regarding his work for York University and the University of Stirling; correspondence, minutes and reports from his time on the Board of the Royal Opera House, National Gallery, Committee on the Export of Works of Art, Courtauld Institute and other arts organisations; correspondence, programmes and other materials produced for conferences attended by Lionel Robbins; drafts and proofs of articles and publications by Lionel Robbins; records of his travels abroad including correspondence and some photographs; appointment diaries ; press cuttings reporting on statements, activity and publications by Lionel Robbins; some photographs; and family materials including documents relating to his brother in law Clive Gardiner and father-in-law A G Gardiner.

The detailed cataloguing of the Robbins papers in 2013 was made possible through the generous support of LSE's Annual Fund.

See COLL MISC 0863 - Lectures given by Lionel Robbins at LSE on the History of Economic Thought
Related MaterialCOLL MISC 0863 - Lectures given by Lionel Robbins at LSE on the History of Economic Thought
Access StatusMainly open; some items closed
Copyright TypeCopyright is held by the Library
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