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Additional papers of Dame Margaret Joan Anstee


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This archive comprises of the papers and correspondence of Dame Margaret Joan Anstee, relating to her life and career, particularly her work as part of the UNDP, and also diaries, correspondence and other papers of Sir Robert Jackson.


  • Creation: 1955-2016


126 boxes

55.59 Linear metres (155 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Spanish; Castilian
  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Amharic

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Example].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 12426/1-148; MSS. 12426 Photogr. 1-7

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12426


Papers and correspondence of Dame Margaret Joan Anstee (1926-2016), United Nations civil servant

Biographical / Historical

Margaret Joan Anstee was one of the first women to enter the British Diplomatic Service. She joined the UN as a local administrative officer in Manila, and went on to pioneer many positions previously inaccessible to women over four decades, eventually rising to the rank of Under-Secretary General in 1987. She worked on operational programmes of economic and social development in all regions of the world, mostly with the UN Development Programme, being Resident Representative of UNDP in eight countries, afterwards serving in senior positions at the UN headquarters between 1974 and 1987.

From 1987 to 1992 Anstee was Director General of the UN Office in Vienna, Head of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs and Co-ordinator of UN Narcotic Drug-control programmes. In 1992-1993 she was the Secretary-General's Special Representative to Angola, the first woman to head a military peacekeeping mission. In reitrement Anstee continued to take an active part in the United Nations.


The material was already ordered to a degree on arrival. Where possible, we have tried to preserve this arrangement but some reordering was necessary to better reflect Margaret Anstee's life and career. Most correspondence and photographs can be found in the series "Correspondence" and "Photographs", but those relating to specific aspects of her life and career are instead to be found in the relevant series. Within boxes, most folders reflect Margaret Anstee's original arrangement.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequest acquired in 2017.

Related Materials

See also Archive of Dame Margaret Joan Anstee (MSS. Anstee 1-30). Personal papers held by Newnham College Cambridge.

Catalogue of the Additional Papers of Dame Margaret Joan Anstee
Katherine Cook, Tilly Guthrie
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom