Mudd Collection Joins UNESCO Memory of the World Register

The W. Arthur Lewis Papers were added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in July 2009. Sir William Arthur Lewis was a pioneer in the field of development economics and a leading authority on economic growth.

Professor William A. Lewis (center) with Chief C.D. Akran, Western Nigeria Minister of Economic Planning and Chief J.A. Oshuntoken, Western Nigeria Minister of Lands and Labour, circa 1956 in London

His academic work ranged from an interest in economic planning in industrialized countries to an interest in economic development of developing countries and an interest in the international trading system. He also served as the United Nations Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as the Deputy Managing Director of the United Nations Special Fund, and also as the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and as the founding president of the Caribbean Development Bank.

Lewis also broke several racial barriers during his career. In 1979, he became the first man of color to be awarded an academic Nobel Prize (Economics) for his analysis of not only economic growth but also the structural transformation of the economies of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

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UNESCO Memory of the World Certificate Awarded to Mudd in recognition of the William Arthur Lewis Papers

The Memory of the World Programme was started in 1992 to “guard against collective amnesia by calling upon the preservation of the valuable archives holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination.” UNESCO has many programs to promote the preservation, access, and awareness of the importance of archival and library collections around the world. The Register, begun in 1996, is composed of descriptions of collections of world significance. Thirty-five collections were added to the Register this year, including the Diaries of Anne Frank, the Magna Carta, and the League of Nations Archives. The Lewis Papers were submitted for consideration to the Register by the National Archives Authority of Saint Lucia.

-Adriane Hanson