The Legacy on which the Shaw Library was originally founded came from a bequest in the Will of Mrs. Bernard Shaw (Charlotte Payne Townsend). Charlotte made the proviso which I wish to continue. George Bernard Shaw and the Founders insisted that there would be a lot more to a future LSE, than “mere” economics, and happily this has always remained the case. Being “Superintendent of the Shaw Library” from 1962-1964 (between getting my BSc (econ) and moving on to study for a PhD in French Political Thought) was a huge privilege. Above all it brought me close to the staff and students of the LSE who supported and frequented the Shaw Library. The School’s most interesting members were among them, whether they came to play chess, join the orchestra, or read books and journals, or listen to music or, like Ralph Miliband or Claus Moser, to make sure the librarian was ordering the literature and music they cared about.
I hope to ensure by the Legacy that all concerned remain as aware as now and in the past that the “Shaw Library and the Founders’ Room” has double needs. During my sojourn as “Superintendent”, the Librarian of the British Library of Political Science provided the budget for some aspects of my responsibilities but not all, and the Estates Office for others. The Director appointed the Superintendent and looked after the lacunae in the funding.
In short, my bequest follows directly from the Shaws and the Founders, Fabians, Socialists, and their successors who rightly see education as going far beyond the lecture theatre and seminar room.