John Saville: An appreciation

Rubinstein, David
March 1984
Bulletin -- Society for the Study of Labour History;Spring84, Issue 48, p2
Academic Journal
This article profiles economic historian and former teacher John Saville. He was appointed to an assistant lectureship in economic history at the University College of Hull in 1947. As the tiny institution which he first joined turned into a medium-sized university John Saville became an ever more important figure. John is full of energy and enthusiasm, good for another hundred years as one of his colleagues recently observed. He has been as interested in new trends and ideas as any young lecturer, indeed, more so than most, his passion for oral history is a case in point. There are two special areas in which John will be particularly remembered. He was for sixteen years a member of the university's Library Committee. As a member he was a tireless advocate of the claims of the library. His proposals were often shot down as extreme, but they were often deliberate ploys, deflecting attention from the librarian's own claims, which then emerged unscathed. He continuously demanded bigger grants, more staff and better services. In addition he was an indefatigable collector of rare published journals, papers, manuscripts, minutes, letters and other archives of the labour movement. Among the papers which he collected were those of Jock Haston, some 2,000 pamphlets, books and manuscripts of the Workers' International League, the Revolutionary Socialist League and the Revolutionary Communist Party.


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