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Harold Blakemore Latin American Archive

Archive reference: BLA

Harold Blakemore

Harold Blakemore was born in South Yorkshire in 1930 and educated at Mexborough Grammar School. At University College London he specialised in Latin American history. After teaching History and International Relations at the University of Sheffield, he returned to the University of London to the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1965, the University established the Institute of Latin American Studies. Professor Blakemore became its Secretary, a post he retained until his retirement in 1987.

A prolific author and regular editor, speaker and reviewer, Professor Blakemore was editor of "The Journal of Latin American studies" from 1969 to 1987, joint editor of "The Cambridge encyclopaedia of Latin America and the Caribbean" (1985), and contributed to "The Cambridge history of Latin America" (1986).

Beyond the academic world, he was also consulted on commercial matters and was for many years a member of the Latin American Trade Advisory Group. In 1990 Professor Blakemore was invested by the Chilean government with the Bernardo O'Higgins Order of Merit for his "magnificent contribution to Anglo-Chilean understanding". He died in 1991. Mrs Blakemore, his widow, donated his books and papers to the Library in 1993.

The Archive

The Archive includes:

  • Articles, lectures and TV scripts by Harold Blakemore.
  • Subject files of documents, pamphlets and articles on Chilean politics 1970-1978, and on protest about human rights.
  • Notes from British business archives on historic Anglo-Chilean business links and the nitrates trade, with a particular emphasis on the Bank of London and South America and its predecessors, the London and Brazilian Bank and the London and River Plate Bank. Note that the Archives of the Bank of London & South America and its predecessors are held by Special Collections, University College London.
  • Official documents, including copies of British Foreign Office correspondence on Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Peru, 1866-1945.
  • Ephemera concerning his Latin American travels, such as maps, guides, rail and air travel timetables.
  • Slides and postcards of Latin America.
  • Journal articles, conference papers, reports, dissertations and bibliographies on Latin American topics, also British and Chilean newspapers and press cuttings

Material dates mainly from 1930 to the 1990s; most is in English or Spanish.

Further information about the archive: Collection-level entry on the Library catalogue. The Archive is not yet fully catalogued, so access is limited. Please contact Special Collections staff well in advance of your visit to discuss your interests.

The Book Collection

The collection includes over 2000 volumes of published books and journals on the history, economics and politics of Latin America. Chile and Argentina are particular strengths. Cataloguing of the books is in progress.