Tuesday, 5 October 2010

New archives lists - Ceylon

Two new collections for which we have added details to the ULRLS Archives catalogue are part of our collection of papers of former colonial civil servants in Ceylon.

The W T Stace Autobiography (ICS 100) consists of a typescript draft, comprising chapters 7-16 inclusive of the Autobiography of W T (Walter Terence) Stace, as a civil servant in Ceylon, from 1910-1932. It is not known whether the work was ever published, no record of publication has been found to date.

Born into a military family, Walter Terence Stace (1886-1967) first went out to Ceylon as a young civil servant in 1910. Beginning as a cadet in Galle, he gradually rose in the administrative hierarchy to become a police magistrate, private secretary to the Governor (Sir Robert Chalmers), district judge at Negombo, and an official (ultimately, the head) of the Land Settlement Department, as well as mayor of Colombo. During his last ten years in the colony, while working on land settlement, Stace divorced his first wife (who had returned to Britain) and married Blanche Beven; and he spent an increasing amount of time writing on philosophy which from an early age had been a significant personal interest.

He resigned from the civil service in 1932 to become a teacher of philosophy at Princeton University, USA. Stace published several works on philosophy, including 'A critical history of Greek philosophy' (1920), 'The philosophy of Hegel: a systematic exposition' (1924), 'The meaning of beauty: a theory of aesthetics' (1929), 'The theory of knowledge and existence' (1932), 'The concept of morals' (1937), 'The destiny of western man' (1942), and 'Mysticism and philosophy' (1961).

The ME Westrop papers (ICS104) relate to education in Ceylon. Miss M E Westrop was an Inspector of Schools in Ceylon from 1928-1948. No other biographical details are available. the collection of papers held by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library include information for Inspectors, including an Inspectors' Manual, dated 1945; papers on syllabuses and training courses on the teaching of English as a second language, adult education and the Practical Teaching Test; and papers on broadcasts to schools from the Colombo Radio Station, 1939-1942, including synopses of talks by Miss Westrop 'Great Britain at War' and typescript of farewell broadcast by Miss Westrop, 1948 'Girls' Education in Ceylon, covering a period of 20 years'.

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