Allen Potter - in memoriam

Article dated: 11 June 2010

The UK Data Archive is saddened to learn of the death of our first Director, Professor Allen Potter, at the age of 86. He was Director of the Archive from March 1967 until September 1970. Allen Potter

After joining the Department of Government at the University of Essex in 1965, he was appointed founding Director of the SSRC Data Bank in 1967, a position he held until 1970. It was largely due to his extensive efforts that the SSRC Data Bank, which subsequently became the UK Data Archive, was established at the University of Essex. Quoted in the Essex County Standard on 31 January 1967, Professor Potter commented: "I regard this development in the social science field as probably the most important of the next generation". During his time at the Archive his contribution was invaluable and, in particular, included setting up the operating procedures which continued to be used until the digital revolution in data transmittal in the 1990s.

Professor Potter left Essex in 1970, to take up a post as Professor of Politics at the University of Glasgow, additionally serving as Vice-Principal from 1979-1982, a Governor of the Glasgow School of Art from 1979-1982, and as a member of the US-UK Educational Commission from 1979-1984. Since retiring in 1984, he lived in Worcestershire and, despite declining health in recent years, he continued to take a keen interest in current politics.