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Actuarial history research support

Secondary resources relating to the historical origins and development of early actuarial science are available for those considering new research in this field or related areas

Significant recent works on actuarial and related financial history are available from the library and include:

  • T. Alborn (2009). Regulated Lives: Life Insurance and British Society 1800-1914. University of Toronto.
  • D.R. Bellhouse (2017). Leases for lives: Life-contingent contracts and the emergence of actuarial science in eighteenth-century England. Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • S. Haberman and T.A. Sibbett (1995). History of Actuarial Science. London: William Pickering. 10 volumes. (Facsimile reprints of historic actuarial texts introduced by Trevor Sibbett FIA with introduction by Professor Steven Haberman FIA of City University).
  • C.G. Lewin (2003). Pensions and Insurance Before 1800: A Social History. East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 2003.
  • G. Poitras (2000). The Early History of Financial Economics, 1478-1776: From Commercial Arithmetic to Life Annuities and Joint Stocks. Edward Elgar Press, 2000.
  • H. Raynes (1964). A History of British Insurance. 2nd ed. London: Isaac Pitman, 1964.
  • H. Raynes (1960). Social Security in Britain: A History. 2nd ed. London, 1960.
  • C Turnbull (2017). A history of British actuarial thought. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
  • C. Walford (1871-1880). The Insurance Cyclopaedia: Being a Dictionary of the Definition of Terms Used in Connection with the Theory and Practice of Insurance in All its Branches; A Biographical Summary, A Bibliographical Repertory, an Historical Treasury, and an Account of the Rise and Progress of Insurance in Europe and America. London: Charles and Edwin Layton, 1871-80.

Actuary members and others have long contributed to the historical literature in articles for Journal of the Institute of Actuaries, Transactions of the Faculty of Actuaries, The Actuary magazine and its forerunner Fiasco. See Selected Books and Papers on Actuarial History and Pioneers for more information.
Topics for historical research 

European Sources for Research of Actuarial History and the Scope for Translation (seminar paper, by Trevor Sibbett FIA, June 2007) suggests topics to explore the European heritage for actuarial investigation. Possible new themes to examine include: 

  • early forms of pensions and life annuities
  • instruments of state debt financing at interest
  • demographic insights and the development of mortality tables and survival projections from the seventeenth century
  • the progress of life assurance and other provident funding as they became established on actuarial lines from the late eighteenth century
  • early forms of non-life insurances. 

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We try to respond to email queries within one working day. Researcher access to historical resources may require notice in advance of visit in order to retrieve items from storage.