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Reference SA/PIC
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Level Collection
Extent 52 boxes
Title Population Investigation Committee
Date 1879-2010
Box Number 1-52
Ordering Instructions This archive record describes a grouping of orderable items: to order any of them for consultation, order copies or view them if they have been digitised, navigate down the archive hierarchy to Item level.
Name Population Investigation Committee
Description The collection contains the organisational records of the Population Investigation Committee including minutes, 1935-2002; annual reports, 1937-2009; correspondence and papers relating to the Committee's history and early years, 1931-1996; correspondence relating to members, 1933-2001; correspondence relating to foundations and other bodies, 1953-2000; working papers and correspondence relating to significant research projects, 1932-1996; reports, papers, and photographs of the Demographic Training Programme, 1964-c.1995; publications and reprints, 1938-1992; administrative and staff records and photographs, 1939-2002; correspondence relating to the journal Population Studies, 1977-2002; and papers relating to externally funded projects of staff of the Population Studies Department of the London School of Economics, administered through the PIC, 1978-1991.
Arrangement

The records have been kept in their original order and have been arranged to reflect the original filing system as far as possible. Some sections of the original system no longer exist as the records were not selected for permanent preservation, and not all material located was included in the filing list. Where a significant amount of material no longer exists for an original section, the remaining material has been incorporated into an alternative section. See SA/PIC/J/1 for a copy of the original filing list.

Arranged by section as follows:

A. Minutes

B. Annual reports

C. Early years and Committee history

D. Members

E. Foundations and other bodies

F. Research and projects

G. Demographic Training Programme

H. Publications

J. Administration

K. Staff

L. Population Studies

M. Department Research

Historical Background

On 16 February 1935 Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders, Charles Booth Chair of Social Science at the University of Liverpool, and Chairman of the Positive Eugenics Committee, delivered the Galton Lecture of the Eugenics Society entitled 'Eugenics in the Light of Population Trends'. Carr-Saunders drew attention to the falling birth rate and concerns over the fertility of married women and a decline in the size of the family. As a result, the Council of the Eugenics Society met on several occasions between June 1935 and June 1936 to discuss the formation of a research body - the Population Investigation Committee (PIC).

The first meeting of the PIC was held 15 June 1936. Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders was elected Chairman, C.P. Blacker the General Secretary, and David Glass the Research Secretary. It was also decided that the PIC should be independent from the Eugenics Society and those organisations who had appointed representatives to the committee. In 1936 The Future of Our Population? was published. It was one of the first publications of the new committee and discussed the declining birth rate and concerns facing the population. The original purpose of the PIC was 'to examine the trends of the population in Great Britain and the Colonies and to investigate the causes of these trends, with special reference to the fall of the birth-rate.' Its remit was research, not the formation of policy. As such the PIC had a prominent role in several national surveys to investigate the medical, economic and social factors affecting changes in the population.

Research activities involving the PIC include a fertility inquiry in 1939; an examination of vital statistics during the 1940s; the Royal Commission on Population and the Family Census of 1946; studies of foreign population policies; the Maternity Inquiry of 1946 in collaboration with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which developed into the National Survey of Health and Development; the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947 in cooperation with the Scottish Council for Research in Education to examine the trend of intelligence in children aged 11 years old; a national survey concerned with marriage and divorce in 1959-1960; a study of the British Peerage from 1603-1938; and a national survey of fertility and birth control practice in 1967-1968.

Other activities of the PIC involve the dissemination and encouragement of research in the field of demography. In 1947 the PIC began to publish Population Studies as the first English language journal exclusively concerned with demography. It has been continually produced by the PIC since it was established. Whilst the PIC was actively involved in research, the Journal often reported the results. In 1963, David Glass, then Chairman of the PIC, applied for funding for a postgraduate demographic training programme in collaboration with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) with special reference to students from developing countries. The grant was approved and the first students began their studies in September 1965. LSE took over complete responsibility of the programme in 1980. In 1981 the Small Grants Scheme was established by the PIC to encourage research work in population studies. Initially grants of up to £400 were awarded for approved projects. Following this, in 1995, a Scholarship Fund was formed. Tutors of approved one-year MSc. courses in subjects with a high demographic content were invited to apply on behalf of suitable candidates. In 2000 the Small Grants Scheme was withdrawn and the remaining funds transferred to the Scholarship Fund.

Following the death of David Glass in 1978, the research element of the PIC diminished. Although members of the PIC remained involved with research this was not directly undertaken on behalf of, or in connection with, the Committee. In 2002 it was decided that Population Studies would be published externally. As a result staff numbers were reduced to one full-time paid member of staff; the General Secretary. In 2003 a further decision was made to reduce the size of the Committee to ten members, all of whom would be trustees. In addition the President of the British Society for Population Studies was invited to be a member as a non-Trustee. Today (2011) the activities of the PIC revolve around the Journal, which provides the bulk of the Committee's income. Any surplus income subsidises the Scholarship Fund which continues to provide scholarships for UK masters students studying demography.

Chairmen of the PIC:

Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders 1936-1958

David Glass 1958-1978

Prof. Ralph Dahrendorf 1978-1984

Prof. Sir Tony Wrigley 1984-1991

Prof. John Hobcraft 1991-2003

Prof. John Cleland 2003-

Custodial History

The archives were kept by the Population Investigation Committee in a basement at the London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE prior to their transfer to the Wellcome Library in 2010.

The Committee retain a small collection of records, mainly duplicate annual reports and publications, and administrative papers relating to the journal Population Studies. The Committee also retain the archives of the British Society for Population Studies.

Acquisition Details The archives were given to the Wellcome Library by the Population Investigation Committee in Sep 2010.
Accession Number 1756
Appraisal

The Project Archivist surveyed the records of the Population Investigation Committee in situ. The disposal of records was agreed with the General Secretary of the Committee.

Records not selected for permanent preservation fall in to the following categories: routine repetitive correspondence, financial records other than annual accounts, routine personnel administration records, and brochures and information booklets of external organisations.

Access Status Certain restrictions apply
Access Conditions

The majority of papers are open and available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material. The exceptions are:

SA/PIC/A/1 Most items in this series are restricted access. See individual items for specific restriction periods

SA/PIC/E/18/2/2 Closed under the Data Protection Act until 1 Jan 2076

SA/PIC/E/18/3/2 Closed under the Data Protection Act until 1 Jan 2064

SA/PIC/F/5/2/1 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2031

SA/PIC/F/5/2/2 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2030

SA/PIC/F/7/3 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2056

SA/PIC/F/7/5 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2065

SA/PIC/F/14/2 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2032

SA/PIC/J/6/1 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2063

SA/PIC/J/6/2 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2028

SA/PIC/K/1 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2041

SA/PIC/K/7 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2074

SA/PIC/K/8 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2042

SA/PIC/K/9 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2051

SA/PIC/M/2/1 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2018

SA/PIC/M/2/4 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2020

SA/PIC/M/3/1 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2015

SA/PIC/M/6/1 Restricted access until 1 Jan 2022

SA/PIC/M/6/2 Closed under the Data Protection Act until 1 Jan 2074

The Archivist may allow consultation of material designated 'restricted access' (as opposed to closed) on completion of a Restricted Access application form.

For full details of the criteria used by the Wellcome Library to determine whether a file requires closure or restriction, see the Library's Access to Archives Policy.

Reproduction Conditions Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.
Copyright
Language English
Language French
Language Russian
Related Material

In the Wellcome Library:

  • Papers of the Eugenics Society (SA/EUG)
  • Papers of Carlos Paton Blacker (PP/CPB)
  • Papers of the Family Planning Association (SA/FPA)
  • Papers of the National Birthday Trust (SA/NBT)
  • Papers of the Medical Women's Federation (SA/MWF)
  • Glasgow University Special Collections:

  • Papers relating to the Scottish Mental Surveys, ref. UGC 171/7
  • London School of Economics Archives:

  • Papers of Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders, c.1930-c.1940
  • Small collection of papers of David Glass, 1912-1938, ref. COLL MISC 0479
  • Royal Commission on Population papers, 1945-1946, ref. COLL MISC 1078
  • Minutes, reports and correspondence relating to the PIC, 1954-1958, in the papers of Sir Brandon Rhys Wiliams
  • Minutes, reports, memorandum, and correspondence relating to the PIC, 1943-1960, in the papers of Richard Morris Titmuss
  • Special Collections, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, The John Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA:

  • Hollingsworth Geneaogical Data on the British Peerage, ref. manuscripts Ms.359
  • Central Town Library, Berlin:

  • Correspondence of Robert Rene Kuczynski relating to the PIC, 1936-1947, in the papers of Jürgen Kuczynski (R.R. Kuczynski's role as one of the original members of the PIC is discussed in the Memoir published on his death in Population Studies, Vol.1, No.4, March 1948)
  • Relevant Publications

    The records of the Population Investigation Committee have been used in the following publications:

    C.M. Langford, The Population Investigation Committee: A concise history to mark its fiftieth anniversary, (London: Population Investigation Committee, 1988)

    R. A. Soloway, Demography and Degeneration: Eugenics and the Declining Birthrate in Twentieth Century Britain, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990)

    Notes

    The following abbreviations have been used in this catalogue:

  • BPS British Population Society
  • BSPS British Society for Population Studies
  • CEPR Centre for Economic Poilcy Research
  • DTP Demographic Training Programme
  • ESRC Economic and Social Research Council
  • FPA Family Planning Association
  • ICERD International Centre for Economics and Related Disciplines
  • IPPF International Planned Parenthood Federation
  • IUSIPP International Union for the Scientific Investigation of Population Problems
  • IUSSP International Union for the Scientific Study of Population
  • LSE London School of Economics and Political Science
  • MRC Medical Reseach Council
  • NBTF National Birthday Trust Fund
  • NMCG National Marriage Guidance Council
  • NSHD National Survey of Health and Development
  • ODA Overseas Development Administration
  • ONS Office of National Statistics
  • OPCS Office of Population Censuses and Surveys
  • PIC Population Investigation Committee
  • RCP Royal Commission on Population
  • SCRE Scottish Council for Research in Education
  • Vol. Volume
  • Subject Demography
    Subject Birth Rate
    Subject Infertility
    Subject Marriage
    Subject Maternal Welfare
    Subject Child Welfare
    Subject Charities
    Subject Public Health
    Subject Abortion, Legal
    Subject Obstetrics
    Subject Eugenics
    Subject Education, Graduate
    Subject Correspondence
    Subject Research
    Subject

    Statistics

    Subject Divorce
    Subject Family Planning Services
    MaterialType Archives - Non-digital
    System No. 2df9de32-3f6e-4d58-9bec-6befc5ddb7dd


    Associated entries (click number link for details):

    1

    Population Investigation Committee; 1936-