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Margaret Read: An introduction

Introduction to the Margaret Read Archive

Collection snapshot

Who was Margaret Read?
Margaret Read was an early female social anthropologist, pionee
ring the application of social anthropology and ethnography to the education and health problems of developing countries. During her career she visited a number of places including Indian hill villages, South Africa, Northern Rhodesia, Nigeria and Nyasaland. She also worked at the London School of Economics and the Department of Education in Tropical Areas at the Institute of Education becoming head of the department until her retirement in 1955. Read was also influential in shaping the British Government's attitude to post-war colonial education.

Her collection mainly relates to her travels overseas. Papers include travel notebooks and diaries (dating particularly from the 1940s onwards) and photographic albums of overseas visits and tours (from 1919 onwards). Further papers include drafts of published and unpublished writings and correspondence about various aspects of her work.

Contact the archive team

Telephone us on:

020 7612 6983

or e-mail our dedicated enquiry service at

You can also write to us at:

Newsam Library and Archives
UCL Institute of Education
University College London
20 Bedford Way