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Archive of Dame Margaret Joan Anstee


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Comprises: Speeches, 1977-1993; Papers relating to the UN Headquarters in New York, 1972-1987; Papers relating to service as Special Representative in Angola, 1984-2002; Personal corespondence, 1960-2009; Autobiographical papers, 2003 and n.d.


  • Creation: 1960-2009


4.5 Linear metres (30 shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Portuguese

English, some Portuguese

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Anstee 1, folder 1].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Anstee 1-30

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6344, 6562


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.


Arranged in series reflecting the type of material and/or stages in Anstee's career.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Dame Margaret Joan Anstee in 2009 and 2010.


  • Margaret Joan Anstee, Orphan of the Cold War: the inside story of the collapse of the Angolan peace process, 1992-93 (Macmillan: 1996)
Catalogue of the Margaret Joan Anstee archive, 1960-2009
Finding aid prepared by Carolyn Lewis
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom