Friday, 15 April 2011

Sir Keith Hancock

Recently added to our collection is a biography of Sir Keith Hancock, A Three-Cornered Life: The Historian W. K. Hancock, written by Jim Davidson and publsihed by the University of New South Wales Press (ISBN: 9781742231266). The title was recently reviewed in Reviews in History and described as a "magnificent biography".

Keith Hancock is described in this review as a man who "played out his career on a world stage but the world only knows him in bits and pieces." For the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Hancock is especially remembered as our first Director, who did much from 1949 to 1957 to found the Institute which still flourishes today.
The Institute also holds an archive collection of the papers of Sir (William) Keith Hancock, which include material relating to his chairmanship of the Buganda Constitutional Committee, 1954 (including correspondence, in particular with Sir Andrew Cohen, Governor of Uganda, papers from a seminar on constitutional issues in Uganda, background notes, papers of the Buganda Constitutional Committee and Steering Committee, minutes of the Namirembe Conference, papers about the Uganda Development Corporation and the Uganda National Congress, notes of visits to Ankole, Toro, Bunyoro-Kitara and Busoga and press cuttings) as well as correspondence and press cuttings relating to Hancock's books , "British War Economy" and "Problems of Social Policy" (History of the Second World War UK Civil Series Vol 1 & 2), 1949-1950; press cuttings of the Liberal Summer School, Oxford, July 1955; correspondence and other papers collated for his biography of Jan Smuts; and notebooks with details for his autobiography.

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