George Lennox Sharman Shackle (1903-1992) was born in Cambridge and educated at the Perse School. He was unable for financial reasons to take up a place at St Catharine's College in 1920. He worked in a bank and later as a schoolmaster while studying for an external degree from London University, which he obtained in 1931.
In 1934 Shackle won a Leverhulme Research Scholarship to the London School of Economics (taken up in January 1935), where his supervisor was F.A. Hayek. After hearing a lecture by Joan Robinson at a seminar in Cambridge in 1935 he obtained permission from Hayek to study the ideas of Keynes, and wrote as his doctoral dissertation (1937) what became his first published book, Expectations, Investment and Income (1938). In March 1937 he joined the Oxford University Institute of Statistics as research assistant to Henry Phelps Brown, and the work done in his two years there resulted in a dissertation for an Oxford D. Phil degree (1940).
In 1939 Shackle was appointed to the Economics Department of St Andrews University, but on the outbreak of war was called to London, to work in Sir Winston Churchill's Statistical Branch of the Cabinet Office until 1945, and thereafter in the Economics Section of the Cabinet Secretariat. In 1950 he was made Reader in Economic Theory at Leeds University, and in 1951 Brunner Professor of Economic Science at Liverpool University, where he remained until his retirement in 1969.
Shackle was Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York, 1957-1958, and at Pittsburg University, 1966-1967. After his retirement he lectured in Belfast. He gave the F. De Vries Lectures in Amsterdam in 1957 and the British Academy Keynes Lecutre in 1976. He was a member of the Council of the Royal Economic Society, 1955-1969, and was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1967, and of the Econometric Society in 1960. He was President of Section F (Economics) of the British Association in 1966. Shackle published more than a dozen books, and contributed many articles and reviews to learned journals.
The collection is divided into two main sections - writings and correspondence. The writings are comprised of preliminary jottings and drafts, longhand fair copy of final texts; correspondence with publishers; final printed texts; and reviews and articles mentioning Shackle's works. The papers have been arranged by category (books, articles, reviews, etc.) and chronologically within each section.
The correspondence consists mainly of letters to Shackle from other academic economists, from the publishers of his books, and from the editors of journals, with some copies of his replies. Shackle selected and arranged the letters prior to their deposit. They are numbered and listed in eleven chronological series, beginning in 1949 and ending in 1982. There are also a few letters from 1938-1948, and a final series of letters c.1978-1992, deposited by Mrs Shackle and arranged alphabetically by the name of the writer.
In addition there is a special collection of books and papers (SB), the 'Sybilline Books', an introductory section of material put together by Shackle; miscellaneous material containing items of biographical interest, articles by other people, etc; notebooks and lecture notes.
Deposited by G.L.S. Shackle between 1965 and 1987, and by Mrs Shackle in 1992 and 1995.