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Hearnshaw, Leslie Spencer (1907-1991)

  • Hearnshaw, Leslie Spencer (1907-1991)
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The collection consists of a wide variety of documentation relating to Hearnshaw's career and academic life, including correspondence, Journals, Pamphlets, Lecture Notes, Reports and Reprints.



Physical description

21 boxes


Into 6-alphabetical series by subject:

PSY/HEA/1 History of Psychology

PSY/HEA/2 International Congress of Psychology

PSY/HEA/3 Journals, Pamphlets and Reports

PSY/HEA/4 Lectures & Papers

PSY/HEA/5 Miscellaneous Correspondence & Notes

PSY/HEA/6 Short History of British Psychology

Biographical note

Educated at King's College School Wimbledon, Christ Church, Oxford, and the University of London, where he graduated with first-class honours. Hearnshaw was an investigator with the National Institute of Industrial Psychology from 1933 until 1938. He spent the years between 1939 and 1947 in New Zealand, as a lecturer in psychology at Victoria University College, Wellington. He was also Director of the Industrial Psychology Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research at Wellington between 1942 and 1947.

Hearnshaw returned to England in 1947 and was appointed the first chair of psychology at the University of Liverpool. He was an active and prominent member of the British Psychological Society, serving on many committees. Hearnshaw was President in 1955, and editor of the Society's Monograph-Supplement 1960-1964. He was also vice-president of the International Association of Applied Psychology, and editor of International Review of Applied Psychology from 1969-1972. From 1955 to 1970 he was part of the group funded by the Medical Research Council which was responsible for researching the occupational aspects of ageing at Liverpool. He wrote a short history of this group.

It was as a historian of psychology that Hearnshaw enjoyed his greatest success. His interest in history could be traced to the early 1930's when he had been a student under Spearman at the University of London. His authorized biography of Cyril Burt, written at the request of Burt's family, balanced the scandal and tragedy of Burt's early life against his later successes.


Human Welfare and Industrial Efficiency, 1945

A Short History of British Psychology 1840-1940, 1964

The Comparative Psychology of Mental Development, 1966

Cyril Burt: Psychologist, 1979

The Shaping of Modern Psychology, 1987

Ownership note

Created by Professor Hearnshaw in Liverpool University. Private accession: Transferred from Hearnshaw's home in the Wirral to British Psychological Society Archives, Liverpool University April 1988. Transferred to the History of Psychology Centre, 32 John Street, London WC1, 2003.

British Psychological Society accession number 0038.

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