‘Foundations: LSE and the Science of Society’ LSE Library exhibition is a great introduction to the history of LSE’s foundation, from concept to realisation.  It also details some of the personal achievements of notable individuals such as Malinowski and Beveridge. Eleanor Payne, LSE Library, has been giving lunchtime talks in the exhibition this term and shares with us her favourite item from the exhibition.

My favourite item on display here is one of Beatrice Webb’s diaries.

I think you get a real glimpse of her personality, especially when she talks about the “nondescript set of university men” that were interviewed for the prospective lecturers at the School in 1895.

She also writes “It struck me always as a trifle difficult to teach a science which does not yet exist”.  Here I really detect an ‘I told you so’ undertone to her words; perhaps she had been suggesting this might be the problem to her Fabian colleagues all along?!  Fascinating.


Beatrice Webb's diary at the Foundations exhibition

An open page of Beatrice Webb’s diary at the LSE Library Foundations exhibition. Beatrice Webb’s diaries are also available on the LSE Digital Library.


Eleanor Payne giving a talk at the LSE Library Foundations exhibition

Eleanor Payne presenting the archives at the LSE Library Foundations exhibition

Contributed by Eleanor Payne (LSE Library) 

Visit the exhibition

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see the ‘Foundations: LSE and the Science of Society’ exhibition in the LSE Library Exhibition Space. Open until Saturday 19 December 2015,  admission to the exhibition is free and it is situated on the left hand side as you enter the Library. The next library exhibition, ‘Women, Peace and Equality’ opens on Saturday 9 January 2016.  Follow the Library twitter account @LSELibrary for information about forthcoming associated events and exhibition sneak peeks in the New Year.

Read more

Meet LSE’s famous founders The Webbs

Posts about LSE Library and its collections

LSE 120th anniversary


Find out more about LSE’s history and join in the 120th anniversary celebrations at lse.ac.uk/lse120#LSE120



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