The R.J. Chambers collection: An “Archivist’s” revelations of 20th century accounting thought and practice

Graeme W. Dean, Peter W. Wolnizer, Frank L. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A major, unique accounting archival source, the R.J. Chambers Collection comprises both hard copy and, utilizing cutting-edge search technology, internet accessible materials. From his academic beginnings, Chambers was an orderly person, an archivist of the extensive and varied evidence that underpinned his proposals for accounting reform. Opening research areas for accounting biography, the development of accounting thought, the history of accounting institutions, prosopography, public sector accounting history, and comparative international accounting history are foremost amongst the myriad justifications for seeking to unravel the accounting history “lodes” in archives such as the Goldberg, Chambers, and Briloff Collections [Potter, 2003]. The archiving of the meticulously kept Chambers papers from 1947-1999 provides an opportunity for unfolding the background to events previously withheld from accounting history scholars. Professional episodes in relation to inflation accounting, standard setting, proposals to reform accounting education, and the like that appeared prima facie to be worth investigating are now open to scrutiny from a different angle, with a different type of evidence available in this Collection. This Collection provides a high degree of archival provenance. In particular, it represents an orderly retention of past documentation of what Chambers wrote, and perhaps uniquely for accounting historians, received; thus, providing an extensive window from which to examine the disorderly present environment of acounting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-166
Number of pages22
JournalAccounting Historians Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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