Scope and Content
Title: Institute of Economic Affairs (Great Britain) Records,
Collection Number: 96026
Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material:
510 manuscript boxes, 23 oversize boxes, 1 cassette box, 14 motion picture film reels
(239 linear feet)
Correspondence, minutes, press releases, financial records, conference proceedings, drafts and printed copies of publications,
other printed matter, and photographs relating to laissez-faire economic theory and associated concepts of liberty, and to
analysis of British and international economic policy. Includes personal papers of some members.
Hoover Institution Archives
Institute of Economic Affairs (Great Britain)
Boxes 268-269 and 3 folders in Box 270 closed. The remainder of the collection is open for research.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to
copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives
at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see
or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], Institute of Economic Affairs (Great Britain) Records, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
Established in 1955 by the late Sir Antony Fisher, the Institute of Economic Affairs is a research and educational trust,
independent of any political party or group, and financed by sales of publications, conference fees, and donations.
Its mission is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society, with particular reference to the
role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The Institute pursues its mission by organizing conferences, seminars,
and lectures on a range of subjects; reaching out to school and college students; brokering media introductions and appearances;
and, most of all, by maintaining a regular publishing program. In addition to its main series of publications, the Institute
also publishes a quarterly journal,
Economic Affairs, and has three specialist units, the Health and Welfare Unit, the Environment Unit, and the Education and Training Unit.
In his book on the history of the Institute, Richard Cockett wrote: "the IEA thus sought, through its publications programme,
to demonstrate the efficacy of economic liberalism and to apply the principles of the free market to all areas of economic
activity." The impact of the Institute on British politics was best summarized by Milton Friedman, who remarked that "without
the IEA, I doubt very much whether there would have been a Thatcherite revolution."
Two of the Institute's most prominent advocates and contributors were Friedrich A. von Hayek (Antony Fisher's main inspiration)
and fellow Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, both of whom deposited their papers in the Hoover Archives. Other economists of
international renown who have done so include Gottfried Haberler, Fritz Machlup, Schmölders, Gordon Tullock, and F. A. Harper,
who invited Fisher to the United States in 1952 and whose Foundation for Economic Education gave him the model for the future
IEA. Other related collections are those of philosopher Karl Popper, publisher Henry Regnery, and journalist Lawrence Fertig.
Many of these figures were also members of the Mont Pèlerin Society, an organization of laissez-faire economists whose records
we house as well.
Scope and Content
The records of the IEA were accessioned in the Hoover Institution Archives as a deposit in 1996. Most of the materials date
from the 1970s, with the notable exception of the press cuttings, which go back to 1940; the financial records, which have
been kept since the Institute's founding; and the publications file, which starts in 1961 and will be regularly brought up
The latter is one of the largest series in the collection, and consists not only of printed copies (from books to pamphlets,
occasional papers, and research monographs) but also of correspondence with authors, agents, and publishers, and of manuscripts
(for many of those that were eventually published, related comments by reviewers, galleys, and other materials are also included).
Other records of note are those in the series dedicated to the Institute's journal
Economic Affairs, which contains interesting correspondence with authors.
The personal files of several prominent IEA members are also represented in this collection. Particularly extensive are the
papers of Lord Ralph Harris, the Institute's first director, and Arthur Seldon, its first editorial director. In the words
of Cockett, "The duo of Harris and Seldon effectively ran the IEA from 1957 until the mid-1980s."
Since the accession of the collection in 1996, the Hoover Institution Archives has received many increments to the IEA records.
The Incremental Materials are arranged in twenty subseries that mirror the organization of the original accession. Although
filed separately, many of these materials belong to the same categories of records. For all series present in the original
accession, please check the Incremental Materials for additional documents.
In addition, the Incremental Materials contain the correspondence and working files of John Blundell, who became general director
of the IEA in 1993. Blundell also served as president of the Atlas Network and the Institute for Humane Studies. Documents
related to these groups, as well as the Mont Pelerin Society, can be found in the Incremental Materials.
The Incremental Materials contain a substantial amount of audiovisual materials, including video and sound recordings of IEA
members, and recordings from the Mont Pelerin Society Aviemore Conference.
The Incremental Materials of 2014 include the papers of Barbara Shenfield, as well as files related to the IEA's journal
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Great Britain--Economic policy--1945-1964.