Lionel W. McKenzie papers, 1942-2004, bulk dates 1960-1990

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McKenzie, Lionel W.
Lionel McKenzie (1919-2010) was the Wilson Professor of Economics, Emeritus at the University of Rochester (after beginning his career at Duke University). This collection primarily documents his professional life through his correspondence, writings, research, teaching, and professional activities. It forms part of the Economists' Papers Archive.
22 Linear Feet (44 boxes.)
0.7 Gigabytes (One set.)
Material in English.
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

Through correspondence, research notes, article drafts, teaching material, lectures, and published materials, this collection provides a broad overview of McKenzie's professional career. His greatest contribution to economics was his work in conjunction with Kenneth Arrow and Gerard Debreu on general equilibrium, and his writings on capital theory and turnpike theory, all of which are documented in a variety of forms throughout the collection. Significant correspondents include noted economists Paul Samuelson, Tjalling Koopmans, and Robert Solow. Other aspects of his career are documented, such as his involvement in a number of economic organizations, especially the Econometric Society and the Mathematical Social Sciences Board; his role as organizer of a number of academic conferences, such as the Value and Capital Conference of 1988; and his teaching career at Duke University from 1948-1957 and the University of Rochester from 1957-1989.

The Conferences series includes material from conferences McKenzie attended and organized throughout his career and includes copies of programs, articles given, and other related documents.

The Correspondence series, the largest of the collection, contains largely official and routine correspondence, but also includes a sizeable number of letters on intellectual topics.

The Research and Writings series, the second largest, has various drafts and iterations of most of McKenzie's published work as well as some unpublished material. Many of the notes contain complicated mathematical notations documenting the theoretical foundations for his work. A small set of writings by others, chiefly on game theory and convex sets, conclude the series.

The Teaching series houses syllabi and other materials from the seminars he taught, including many versions of the handwritten text for his general equilibrium seminar, documenting his teaching methods as well as the evolution in his thinking on the subject.

In the Organizations series, extensive documentation can be found of McKenzie's involvement with various economic organizations, including internal discussions on the workings of many of these groups.

The smallest group of records, the Personal series, contains curriculum vitae, personal correspondence, and other ephemera.

Biographical / historical:
Date Event
1919, Jan. 26
Born in Montezuma, GA
BA, Duke University
Rhodes Scholar
MA, Princeton University
B. Litt., Oxford University
Assistant Professor in Economics, Duke University
PhD, Princeton University
Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, University of Rochester
"On the Existence of General Equilibrium for a Competitive Economy, "Econometrica
Wilson Professor of Economics, University of Rochester
Guggenheim Fellowship
Elected to National Academy of Sciences
"Optimal Growth, Turnpike Theorem, and Comparative Dynamics," Handbook of Mathematical Economics
Retired from University of Rochester
Classical General Equilibrium Theory
2010, Oct. 12
Died in Rochester, NY
Acquisition information:
The Lionel W. McKenzie papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library as gifts in 2003 and from E. Roy Weintraub in 2019.
Processing information:

Processed by Matthew Archer, Paula Jeannet, and Dan Ruccia, 2007.

Accessions described in this finding aid: 2003-0237 and 2019-0011.


The Lionel W. McKenzie papers are arranged into seven series: Conferences, Correspondence, Teaching, Organizations, Personal, Research and Writings, and Audiovisual Material.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Access note. Some materials in this collection are electronic records that require special equipment. Contact Research Services with questions.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the Rubenstein Library's Citations, Permissions, and Copyright guide.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Lionel W. McKenzie papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.