Skip to content

Robert Leighton (Bob) Reid (1931-1976) 

MSS 0207

Biographical note

Bob Reid matriculated in 1949, receiving the Tinline Scholarship for History in 1952. In 1953 Bob was awarded a BA (Honours) degree at the University of Adelaide in 1953. Bob then went on the received the Fulbright Scholar in 1954, completing an MA on South Australia and the first decade of the Commonwealth.

During his studies he worked as a Tutor in History and Political Science at the University of Adelaide from February 1953 until August 1954

Following his graduation Bob was awarded a US Government Travel Grant to undertake graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, he entered the PhD program at University of Minnesota Graduate School supported by a Rotary Foundation Fellowship for Advanced Study. Between 1955-56 he was appointed residence counselor at Pioneer Hall, University of Minnesota.

On his return to Australia, Bob was appointed Tutor in History 1956-57 while also acting as temporary Lecturer in Politics, before becoming Lecturer in Politics 1957-62, and Senior Lecturer from 1963-1976, acting as Dean of Arts in 1971 and 1972 and Deputy Chairman of the Dept in 1975. In 1957 he gave a course of 24 lectures at the Adelaide School of Mines.

Bob took study leave in 1964 in the USA where he worked in the Washington office of Democrat Congressman Neil Stuebler from Michigan.

His research work was involved with the distinctive aspects of South Australian politics. He had a reputation as a fair and objective commentator on contemporary politics, and was well known in the community for his involvement in broadcasting for the ABC, particularly during election coverage. Robert was also involved with the Association for Immigration Reform as Honorary Secretary

He died suddenly of heart problems in 1976.

Adapted from Lumen v. 5 no. 7 (20 August 1976)


Series 1: University of Adelaide undergraduate and honours papers

“Undergraduate and Graduate work of R.L. Reid at the University of Adelaide.” [Typescript prepared by Reid? summarising student work in history and political science with names of lecturers. Not all subjects listed have associated papers in this series]

History I Lecture Notes 1949
[Typed lecture notes on Near East Ancient History, Comparative religions, Greek history and Roman and early medieval history, 1949] Lecturer: Professor G.V. Portus

History II notes 1950
Typed lecture notes on ethics and History of Europe 1485-1815. Lecturer Dr W. Oldham
History II Essays on

  • Franco-Spanish Relations in Italy and Germany in the Reigns of Ferdinand and Charles V
  • The Urban Revival in Medieval Europe
  • Trace the development of French Revolutionary ideas from the Declaration of the Rights of Man to the Rise of Napoleon (1795)
  • Economic Imperialism in the nineteenth century
  • Discuss the Pros. And Cons. Of P.R.
  • The Urban Revival in Medieval Europe.
  • Discuss the educational activities of the medieval church in Europe.

Political Science Seminars (3rd year 1951)
Tutorial papers presented as prerequisite for Honours year. With Honours essay by Reid.

Notebook: Political Science 3rd year 1951
“R.L. Reid Federalism & Political Philosophy (rights, equality etc.) Third Year”

[Preparatory Honours paper] Reformation essay Political Science 3rd year 1951
“The political, economic, and social effects of the Reformation of the 16th Century” / R.L. Reid. Typescript, 55 p.

Honours Political Science & History 1952
Term paper “The Laws of Plato and the Laws of Aristotle” / Reid. Typescript, 11 p.
Mid-Quarter Examination paper: “History of Political Theory” / R.L. Reid. Typescript, 8 p.
MS notes

University of Adelaide. Depts of German & Adult Education. Intensive German course: 1953?
Ms notebook and loose notes, typed course handouts

Series 2: University of Minnesota studies towards PhD 1954-55

1. University of Minnesota. Graduate School. Administrative papers. Includes student program, Memorandum on Ph.D. theses, Requirements for reading examinations in French and German for candidates for graduate degrees, flyers on the University, booklet “Pioneer and Centennial Halls MMRA Handbook”

2. Institution of International Education and Institute of World Affairs

  • 20 page Roneoed ‘General Final Report: 1955 Seminar, Institute of World Affairs, Twin Lakes, Salisbury, Connecticut “The Possibilities and Dangers of Coexistence.” Drafting Committtee: Robert L. Reid (Chairman), Murray Bring, James T.Force
  • Letter from the American Ambassador, Canberra, A.C.T., July 30, 1954 to Robert Reid, informing him of his selection of Bob Reid for a US Government Travel Grant
  • Information flyers and booklets

3. Student memorabilia and student counsellor appointment

  • Newspaper cutting on Reid’s talk to Rotary Fellowship Foundation
  • Information re student counsellors
  • Flyers, pamphlets, University publications and journals

4. Economic History studies (3 folders). Includes:

  • MS notebook on thesis / economic history
  • Essay: ‘Economic and Social Life as Portrayed in the First Five Books of the Holy Bible / R.L. Reid. Typescript
  • MS notes and notebooks: History 112-113-114 Economic History of Europe; Canadian history; Canadian-American relations; European Governments: theory and practice; Political theory; Russia
  • 4 small MS notebooks on development of Commonwealth states (India, Canada etc
  • Typescript essays by Reid: The evolution of the Canadian United States Border down to 1846; The evolution of Canadian and Australian Federation: A Comparison; Church and State in New France …
  • Typescript essays and typed and MS notes on Political Theory

5. Political leaflets, articles etc collected while at Minnesota
Includes Conservative and Communist pamphlets on Joseph R. McCarthy, civil rights and Minnesota government

6. Information leaflets and publications associated with Rotary Foundation Fellowship

Series 3: University of Adelaide 1953-1972

Politics II & IIA Course & teaching materials (in folders largely as received)

1. General Politics handouts 1962-74

2. Political Science: Totalitarianism. Handouts, tutorial papers 1953-54

3. Political Science: Federal Government. Handouts, tutorial papers 1953

4. Political Science: Australian Constitution Development. Includes

  • MS lecture notes
  • Typescript: ‘Limitations on the Autonomy of the Australian States / Alex C. Castles. 25 p.
  • Roneoed typescripts: 3 transcripts of Australian Broadcasting Commission broadcasts on “You and Your Government” June-July 1962
  • Reading List Constitutional Law

5. Politics I handouts: tutorials, essay and test topics, reading lists etc 1957-69

6. Politics I Readings booklet [not dated]

7. Politics I: Political parties 1971. Handout of lectures, MS lecture notes, handout on democratic voting

8. Politics I: Lecture notes. Includes MS lecture notes on The Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 and The S.A. Constitution

9. Politics II: American Politics 11969, 972-73. Handouts, tutorial and lecture topics, reading lists, readings

10. Politics II 1958-74. Handouts, mainly chronological

11. Politics II: Comparative Government 1962. Exam paper, essay for country students

12. Politics II: The US, French and Russian Revolutions [not dated]. MS introduction to lectures; MS lecture notes, reading list on Soviet Union

13. Politics II: External students. Reading lists, University of Adelaide Library Country Lending Section lists, some correspondence 1964-73

14. Politics II 1962-73. Handouts re lectures, tutorial topics, reading lists, readings

15. Politics IIA: US, Australia, Canadian & Russian Constitutions 1963, undated. Handouts re lectures, essays, tutorials, readings, MS lecture notes

16. Politics IIA: Elections & Pressure Groups ca 1971. Handouts, readings, MS notes, newspaper and journal articles

17. Politics IIA. Reading lists 1959-74
Handouts including Politics I & II General outline and reading list 1959; ms notes on essay topics etc, reading lists for History and Politics subjects, essay topic and exams

18. Politics IIA: Comparative Government ca 1962. MS lecture notes, reading lists; Roneoed readings

19. Politics IIA: Comparative Politics 1961-68. Handouts re tutorials, interim honours tutorials, MS exam questions, exam papers, seminar papers.
Dept of History handouts 1956

Politics IIIA Course & teaching materials (in folders largely as received)
1. Handouts 1965, undated. Lecture outlines, reading lists
2. Totalitarianism. Tutorial paper

History IA 1956. Handouts Essay topics, essays for country students

Degree of Master of Business Management 1963-67. Politics in Australia 1967-69.
Includes MS lecture notes, handouts, seminar topics, exam paper 1963

Lectures delivered at Keswick Barracks 1967. Handout of lecture topics and readings

Other teaching notes. Articles, readings, newspaper clippings, MS notes on:

  • The Press
  • Weber and Bureaucracy
  • Weber’s key concepts and associations
  • Problems connected with special interests
  • Lecture on theories of Maurice Duverger (first page missing)

Writings, talks etc 1957-67

Other activities

Association for Immigration Reform ca 1961-63.
Includes: typescript copy of constitution, ms notes on Colour Bar, some correspondence, newspaper clippings, published pamphlets, open letters, handouts, notes on meetings

Submission to the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission 1976.
Includes Reid’s submission and that of the Australian Labor Party (SA Branch) by H.R. Hudson, and observations on the submissions by The Distribution Commissioners

Cheryl Hoskin March 2020

University Library

Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


Phone: +61 8 8313 5224