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Archives of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, 1968 - 2014

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SPS

Scope and Contents

The records relate largely to the administration of the department, its teaching programme and Tripos reform. A significant quantity of records document the work of faculty committees.


  • 1968 - 2014


Conditions Governing Access

Personal records are closed to scholars for 80 years from the date of creation under data protection legislation. Restrictions are clearly indicated in catalogue entries.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to publish text should be addressed to the Keeper of University Archives, photographs to the Head of Digital Content Unit; both at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR.

Biographical / Historical

Politics, Psychology and Anthropology have been taught in the Faculties of History, Natural Sciences and Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge since the later nineteenth century. Sociology was introduced in the Faculty of Economics in the second half of the twentieth. In 1968, the University agreed to teach the four subjects in a new Social and Political Sciences Tripos, and established a Social and Political Sciences Committee to do so. The Social and Political Sciences Committee was reconstituted as a Faculty in 1988, and a Part I of the Tripos added to the existing Part II. Political Thought, Experimental Psychology, and Social Anthropology continued to be taught in their respective Faculties, and Sociology was concentrated in Social and Political Sciences. In 2008, the Faculty of Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies was established housing three academic departments (Politics and International Studies, Social and Developmental Psychology and Sociology) plus the Centre for Family Research. In 2011 it was itself replaced by the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Science. And at the same time, the Division of Social and Developmental Psychology and the Centre for Family Research merged with the Department of Experimental Psychology, to create a unified Department of Psychology. Two new triposes - the Human, Social, and Political Sciences Tripos and the Psychological and Behaviourial Sciences Tripos - were offered from 2011 (first class lists 2014). For further information see the Faculty website at


10 linear metre(s) : paper

Language of Materials



Following a transfer of records in 2017, the entire archive was rearranged and reclassified in 2018 resulting in the production of a new catalogue. Certain Faculty Board minutes and Teaching Committee minutes had been catalogued as part of the University Archives’ Min.V series in 1993 and 2000. These records have been reclassified for inclusion in this expanded catalogue.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

SPS 1-19, 20-2 (now SPS 1/5-6, 2/2/1, 2/2/4/1-4, 2/2/5, 2/7-9, 3/1-3 and 4/1) were transferred from the Faculty on 6 May 1993. SPS 19A-G (now SPS 2/2/4/5-11) were transferred from the Faculty by Helen Gibson, Faculty Administrator, on 1 Sept. 2000. SPS 23 (now SPS 2/2/3) was presented by Prof. J. Caplan on 6 Sept. 2012. SPS 1/1, 1/2/11-28, 1/3-4, 1/7, 2/1/9-11, 2/2/2 and 2/3-6 were transferred from the Department of Sociology in June 2017. SPS 1/2/28 (part)and 5/1 were transferred from the former Biological Anthropology building on 25 Mar. 2019.


The online catalogue was completed in October 2005 and emended in March 2012 and January 2013. A new catalogue of the entire archive was produced in November 2018 and emended in May 2019.


Faculty of Social and Political Sciences

Finding aid date

1998-05-06 13:45:43+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom