Political and personal papers of David Steel, Baron Steel of Aikwood. Edit




  • Circa 1900-2007. (Creation)


  • 2.85 linear metres (Whole)
    29 boxes and some outsize items.

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  • Language of Materials


  • Scope and Contents

    The collection comprises school papers, 1943-1959, and material relating to his time at Edinburgh University, 1957-1962; files relating to elections, 1961-c. 1990s; political papers, 1954-1981, mainly concerning constituency politics; manuscript diary of the Lib-Lab Pact, 1977-1978; files relating to his involvement in the Scottish Constitutional Convention, 1988-1998, including minutes of meetings and related correspondence; files relating to Scottish politics, 1992-1999, including correspondence, memoranda and reports; files relating to Scottish Parliament Elections, 1997-1999, comprising correspondence, reports, addresses, briefing papers and some related newspaper cuttings; diaries of appointments, 1959-2012, some of these have been closed for Data Protection reasons; letters to and from David Steel concerning his Knighthood, 1989-1990; papers and correspondence relating to his appointment as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1998-2003, including correspondence, programmes of events, memoranda and lists of guests with some related ephemera; correspondence files relating to membership of various organisations, 1996-1999; personal and family papers, 1959-1990; personal ephemera and memorabilia, 1953-1997; miscellaneous political ephemera, 1895-1992, relating to the Liberal Party and to other political organisations; audio-recordings, 1979-1987; photographs and slides, 1938-1999, mostly relating to his early years, family connections, national and local politics, meetings with foreign dignitaries, visits abroad and his involvement in the Liberal International; cartoons, 1976-1987; newspaper cuttings, 1960-2006; miscellaneous publications, c. 1930s-1970; objects, c. 1960s-2005.

  • Appraisal

    Duplicates have been weeded and some items have been returned to the donor.

    Post-it notes have been safely removed from the back of several photographs. David Steel’s manuscript annotations have been recorded in the inventory.

  • Arrangement

    The papers have been arranged into the following categories:

    1-10 School Papers (1943-1959)

    11-26 Edinburgh University (1957-1962)

    27-31 Elections (1961-c.1990s)

    32-40 Political Papers (1954-1981)

    41 Lib-Lab Pact (1977-1978)

    42-44 Scottish Constitutional Convention (1988-1998)

    45-47 Scottish Affairs (1992-1999)

    48-50 Scottish Parliament Elections (1997-1999)

    51-86 Diaries of Appointments (1959-2012)

    87 Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1989-1990)

    88-90 Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (1998-2003)

    91-92 Membership of Organisations (1996-1999)

    93-95 Personal and Family Papers (1959-1990)

    96-99 Personal Ephemera and Memorabilia (1953-1997)

    100-109 Miscellaneous Political Ephemera (1895-1992)

    110-112 Audiotapes (1979-1987)

    113-258 Photographs (1938-c.1998)

    113-120 Early years (1938-1999)

    121 Family and personal (c.1950s-1990s)

    122-127 Portraits (1956-1995)

    128-178 National Politics (1965-c.1990s)

    179-181 Local Politics (c.1970s-c.1980s)

    182-222 Foreign Dignitaries (1973-1996)

    223-233 International Liberal and European Democrats and Liberals (c.1984-1996)

    234-255 Visits Abroad (1980-1998)

    256-257 Miscellaneous (c.1970s-1990s)

    258 Slides, 1981

    259-262 Cartoons (1976-1987)

    263-275 Newspaper cuttings, 1960-2006

    276 Publications (c.1930s-1970)

    277-278 Objects (c.1960s-2005)

  • Related Materials

    The main archive of David Steel papers is held at the London School of Economics.

    Papers relating to abortion law reform are held at the Wellcome Trust Library.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Normal access conditions apply to most files.

    Files under 20 years old are closed.

    File 35 and items 66 to 86 are restricted for Data Protection reasons.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.

  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Most of the material is in good condition. However, some items have been entered into the Conservation Database to be referred to Conservation for repair and treatment.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Presented, 201420 January 2014

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