Introduction to the Sraffa Archive

Sraffa’s archival material, consisting of over 30,000 pages of content, is housed at the Wren Library, Trinity College, University of Cambridge. It is arranged according to the Wren Trinity convention under the following ‘macro’ conceptual structure of sections:

A. Personal and Family Papers

B. Academic Career

C. Correspondence

D. Notes, Lectures, and Publications

E. Diaries

F. Memoirs of colleagues

G. Publications by others

H. Bibliographical and manuscript interests

I. Items removed from printed books

J. Miscellaneous

Most of the recent literature on Sraffa’s archive consults D: Notes, Lectures, and Publications, and to a lesser extent C: Correspondence, E: Diaries, and I: Items removed from printed books.  Section D is the most complex and itself divides into three subjections, D1: Notes, D2: Lectures, and D3: Publications.  A partial breakdown of this section is in the following table:

Section D: Notes, Lectures, and Publications
D1: Notes (1923-63) (92 sub-groupings)
D2: Lectures (1927-43) (8 sub-groupings)
D2/1: Lecture notes on economic theory

D2/2: ‘The corporative state’, given to ‘Keynes Club’

D2/3: ‘Revalorization of the lira’, given to Emmanuel Economic Society

D2/4: Lecture Notes on the Advanced Theory of Value

D2/5: Lectures on continental banking

D2/6: ‘Il banchieri fiorentini nel 200’

D2/7: Two lectures on Italian problems…

D2/8: Lectures on Industry



(3 Nov 1927)



(14 May 1929)



D3: Publications (1920-73) (14 sub-groupings)
D3/1: L’Inflazione monetaria in Italia durante e dopo la Guerra

D3/2: ‘The Bank crisis in Italy’, Economic Journal (EJ)

D3/3: Untitled article on the economics of fascism

D3/4: Obituary of Maffeo Pantaleoni

D3/5: ‘Sulla Relazione fra costo e quantita prodotta’

D3/6: The Laws of returns under competitive conditions, EJ

D3/7: ‘Increasing returns and the representative firm: a symposium’, EJ

D3/8: ‘An alleged correction of Ricardo’. QJE

D3/9: ‘Dr Hayek on money and capital’, EJ

D3/10: ‘Money and capital: a rejoinder’, EJ

D3/11: The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo

D3/12: Production of commodities by means of commodities

D3/13: ‘Production of commodities by means of commodities: A Comment’, EJ

D3/14: ‘Produzione congiunta di merci a mezzo di merci. Riposta a Manara’

















(14 May 1929)

D3/12 Notes on Production of Commodities contains 115 file folders and around 7000 mostly handwritten pages which are archived according to Trinity as D3/12/1 through D3/12/115.

Sraffa’s archival material was subject to an initial inventory and two subsequent independent arrangements, one of which is the Wren Trinity arrangement presented above.  Chronologically-speaking Wren Trinity is the later version and the one that archival scholarship uses as its standard convention (Kurz 2009, p.268).  Before this there were two separate efforts directed to the papers, the inventory of 1974-5 made by Alessandro Roncaglia and John Eatwell, and the catalogue made in the mid to late 1980s by Krishna Bharadwaj and Pierangelo Garegnani.  The history of cataloguing the Sraffa Papers will be the subject of the next posting.


Kurz, H. 2009, Preparing the edition of Piero Sraffa’s unpublished papers and correspondence, Cahiers d’économie Politique / Papers in Political Economy vol. 2, no. 57, 261-278

Published by Scott Carter

Associate Professor of Economics The University of Tulsa Oklahoma USA