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Papers of Sir Kenneth Wheare


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Papers relating to the Conference on the Federation of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland: minutes, proceedings and reports, 1951-1952; minutes, papers, proceedings and memoranda, 1953.


  • 1951-1953


8 boxes

Language of Materials


Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS.Afr.s.1805].
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Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 4864

Biographical / Historical

Sir Kenneth Clinton Wheare was born in Warragul, Victoria, Australia, on the 26 March 1907. He was educated in Australia at Scotch College, Melbourne, and the University of Melbourne, and in England at Oriel College, Oxford (which he entered as a Rhodes scholar in 1929). Wheare worked at the University of Oxford as a lecturer at Christ Church College (1934-1939) and as Beit lecturer in colonial history (1935-1944). In 1944 he was elected Gladstone Professor of Government and Public Administration (1944-1957). Following this appointment he was constitutional adviser to the National Convention of Newfoundland (1946-1947) and to the Conference on the Federation of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1951-1953). He was also Chairman of the departmental committee on children and the cinema (1947-1950) and a member of the committee on administrative tribunals and inquiries (1955-1957).

At the University of Oxford, Wheare was Dean of University College (1942-1945), Rector of Exeter College (1956-1972), Pro-Vice-Chancellor (1958-1964, 1966-1972) and Vice-Chancellor (1964-1966). He received fellowships from University, All Souls, and Nuffield Colleges, and later received honorary fellowships from Exeter, Nuffield, Oriel, University, and Wolfson Colleges and was elected to a distinguished fellowship at All Souls College (1973). He was awarded the Oxford degree of D.Litt. in 1957.

Wheare was a trustee of the Rhodes Trust (1948-1977) and its chairman (1962-1969). He also represented the University on the Oxford City Council (1940-1957), was a member of the Hebdomadal Council (1947-1967), served on the University Grants Committee (1959-1963), and was a Nuffield trustee (1966-1975).

Outside of Oxford, Wheare was elected to the British Academy in 1952 (he was also its president, 1967-1971), and he received honorary doctorates from Columbia (1954), Cambridge (1969), Exeter (1970), Liverpool (1972), and Manchester (1975). He was Rede Lecturer at Cambridge University (1967); a member of the governing body of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; Chancellor of the University of Liverpool (1972-ca.1979), and Hamlyn Lecturer at Exeter University (1973).

Wheare was appointed CMG in 1953, was knighted in 1966, and was awarded the Queen's Jubilee medal in 1977. Sir Wheare died in Oxford on the 7 September 1979.

Compiled with reference to the Dictionary of National Biography.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Listed as no. 845 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).


Published papers from the Conference can be found in 2 volumes entitled: Conference on the Federation of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, January 1953 (Volume I: Minutes and Conference Papers, Volume II: Proceedings of committees and working parties).
Papers of Sir Kenneth Wheare
Marion Lowman
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom