The British Library of Economics and Political Science opened at LSE in 1896. Here we explore the LSE Library: its history and its collections.

An LSE suffragette – Alice Paul

  • July 18th, 2018

American Alice Paul became a “convert” to the suffragette cause after hearing a talk by Christabel Pankhurst. LSE curator Gillian Murphy charts Alice Paul’s suffragette activities in England and as a student at LSE.

Born in Moorestown, New Jersey on 11 January 1885, Alice Paul was the daughter of Quaker parents. Educated in the States, she went to Swarthmore College, […]

  • Lionel Robbins and the Library Appeal

Lionel Robbins and the Library Appeal

  • July 4th, 2018

2018 is the 40th anniversary of the Lionel Robbins Building, which houses LSE Library – the British Library of Political and Economic Science. Lionel Robbins led the appeal to fund a new building for the Library, which opened in 1978. Kathryn Hannan explored the story while cataloguing the Lionel Robbins Papers at LSE Library.

Lionel Robbins’ long history with LSE, as […]

  • Finding ‘buried’ data on South Asia at LSE Library   

Finding ‘buried’ data on South Asia at LSE Library   

  • June 20th, 2018

In response to a BBC article requesting for further information about other collections of ‘missing’ or not widely known data, Inderbir Bhullar looks at LSE’s holding of South Asian statistical material (India and the subcontinent, pre- and post-Independence) revealing that many of the 9,577 titles may be unique to LSE Library.

In January 2016 an article by Justin Rowlatt, the BBC’s South Asia […]

  • The archives of the Fellowship of Reconciliation

The archives of the Fellowship of Reconciliation

LSE Library holds the archives of the Fellowship of Reconciliation England and its London Union. Carys Lewis introduces the London Union archive and urges anyone with an interest in pacifism, peace groups or social work to consult it. Three stories illustrate the collection: a scheme to find Welsh young women jobs in London; the 1940’s prison diary of conscientious objector […]

  • The archive of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

The archive of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

  • May 30th, 2018

Carys Lewis delves into the archive of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) held at LSE Library. WILPF members have campaigned for peace and justice since 1915 as this selection of stories from the archive demonstrate: campaigning for world disarmament after the First World War; the Great Peace Pilgrimage of 1926; and the anti-apartheid movement in South […]

  • The Unregistered History of LSE

The Unregistered History of LSE

  • May 16th, 2018

Catherine McIntyre introduces the LSE/Unregistered collection, an archive of LSE’s own history that is available to researchers using the archives at LSE.

As well as holding the archives of external collections from organisations and individuals, LSE Library also holds the historical records of LSE itself. LSE/UNREGISTERED contains a wide variety of documents that are outside of the School’s administrative system and therefore not […]

  • 24 LSE women in 1918

24 LSE women in 1918

  • March 28th, 2018

To mark International Women’s Day LSE’s knitting group designed and created a banner to honour the 24 women who taught at LSE in 1918 – the year women first received the vote. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, explains the inspiration and history behind the design.

The LSE Women 1918 banner is inspired by both the buildings and people of the School. The embroidered […]

  • “Shimmering cascades of light” – Blue Rain by Michael Brown

“Shimmering cascades of light” – Blue Rain by Michael Brown

At the south west corner of the Library, overlooking Portugal Street, a stream of blue lights up the building wall. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about LSE’s first digital art work – Blue Rain.

Blue Rain by San Francisco installation artist, Michael Brown, turns the Library inside out by displaying in its flashing blue lights some of its daily business […]

  • Enid Rosser Locket – an early female barrister

Enid Rosser Locket – an early female barrister

  • February 28th, 2018

Kate Higgins introduces the unpublished memoir of Enid Rosser Locket, LSE alumna and one of the earliest female barristers in England. It is available in the Women’s Library Reading Room at LSE Library. 

Enid wrote her memoir in her old age, but it principally covers her life only until her marriage to the arachnologist George Hazelwood Locket in 1944. Its catalogue […]

  • Mary McIntosh’s archive – research and activism

Mary McIntosh’s archive – research and activism

  • February 7th, 2018

Sociologist and activist Mary McIntosh (1936-2013) passed away in 2013, at the same time that Sinead Wheeler was cataloguing newly-received papers into her archive at LSE Library. Mary’s papers reflect the great deal of ground covered in her research and activism, including gay rights, women’s liberation and race equality. Mary McIntosh was an early member of the Gay Liberation Front, which was founded at LSE in 1970.

Mary made […]

  • William Beveridge and his Report

William Beveridge and his Report

  • January 31st, 2018

LSE Library’s current exhibition, A Time for Revolutions: The Making of the Welfare State, coincides with the 75th anniversary of the publication of the Beveridge Report and shows the development of social welfare in Britain from the Poor Laws to Universal Credit. Exhibition curator Inderbir Bhullar, looks at William Beveridge via his archives and his connections to LSE.

A telegram […]

  • LSE students get the ‘Third Degree’!

LSE students get the ‘Third Degree’!

  • January 10th, 2018

While reviewing what happens when new material arrives in the LSE Library archive, a series of photographs led Ellie Robinson to discover that an LSE team had competed in the BBC Radio quiz called Third Degree in 1968. 

Among a file from LSE’s Conferences team was a number of black and white photographs of what appeared to be a party and of some sort of BBC […]

  • From the archives – what did LSE’s homepage look like in 1996?

From the archives – what did LSE’s homepage look like in 1996?

  • December 31st, 2017

LSE’s homepage looked very different in 1996, discovers LSE Library’s Daniel Payne. Find out what it looked like and read Daniel’s tips for exploring historic websites.

This archived homepage provides an insight into life at LSE in 1996, when you could find out about the newly appointed Director Anthony Giddens, buy a soup on campus for 85p, and study the LLB where […]

  • Was your (great) grandmother a suffragette? Tips for using LSE Library’s resources to trace your ancestors

Was your (great) grandmother a suffragette? Tips for using LSE Library’s resources to trace your ancestors

LSE Library receives many enquiries from people who want to find out more about members of their family who were involved in the suffrage movement. Gillian Murphy looks at some of the resources available at LSE Library which might reveal information about a long-lost relative.

Historical background
The Women’s Library grew out of the work of London Society for Women’s Suffrage […]

  • From the archives – trouble at the LSE refectory in 1955

From the archives – trouble at the LSE refectory in 1955

  • December 11th, 2017

While exploring the Lionel Robbins Papers for LSE Library, Kathryn Hannan found evidence of a short-lived dispute lost to history, which took her to the Beaver archives in LSE’s Digital Library. A complaint about campus food prices in October 1955 had resulted in a one-day boycott of the refectory and a motion put forward by the Students’ Union for a new […]

  • Clare Market Review through the ages

Clare Market Review through the ages

  • December 6th, 2017

Named after the 17th Century food market that LSE now partially occupies, Nash Croker introduces Clare Market Review. The oldest student-run journal in the UK. It began in 1905 and is relaunching for Lent term 2018.

Produced at LSE since 1905, it has been both a leading academic journal for the social sciences as well as, more recently, an important  cultural document […]

  • LSE Library’s collections and the First World War

LSE Library’s collections and the First World War

  • November 14th, 2017

Professor David Stevenson, LSE Department of International History, provides a brief look at LSE during wartime and introduces LSE Library’s collections relating to the First World War. The archives include evidence from well-known suffragettes, the Scottish Women’s Hospital organisation’s work in Macedonia, and Belgian refugees in Tunbridge Wells.
LSE and the First World War
When the First World War began, LSE had been established […]

  • The Commonwealth Countries League archive

The Commonwealth Countries League archive

  • October 16th, 2017

LSE Library holds the archive and newsletters of the Commonwealth Countries League. Curator Gillian Murphy explores its founding and some of the people and topics that were covered at its conferences in the 1930s.

The British Commonwealth League was founded in 1925 to promote equality of liberties, status and opportunities between men and women in Commonwealth countries as depicted in this book […]

  • James Meade and the GATT

James Meade and the GATT

  • May 24th, 2017

LSE professor James Meade was a Nobel Prize-winning economist whose work shaped twentieth century international trade policy. His archives are held by LSE Library and featured in the exhibition A Wealth of Ideas: economics and LSE. Inderbir Bhullar, Curator of Economics and Social Policy at LSE Library, discusses Meade’s work along with that of LSE stalwarts Lionel Robbins and Hugh Dalton.

Trade agreements are […]

  • Vera ‘Jack’ Holme – one of the stars of the Women’s Library Collection

Vera ‘Jack’ Holme – one of the stars of the Women’s Library Collection

The LSE Women: making history Library series highlights women’s stories from some of the archives and special collections held at LSE Library. Curator Gillian Murphy shares the story of one of her favourite archives in the Women’s Library collection: that of Vera ‘Jack’ Holme.  She was a militant suffragette, chauffeur to the Pankhursts, cross-dressing actress and aid worker. This post uses photographs from […]