From our leadership positions in the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and in the Editorial Steering Group of the IDS Bulletin, it is a pleasure and a privilege to add a note of introduction to this Archive Collection focusing on one of the IDS Bulletin’s most influential and prolific contributors. Just as Robert Chambers’ work has been part of IDS’ evolving story, so has the IDS Bulletin, and it seems fitting to publish an Archive Collection that showcases and celebrates this intertwining. The Issue Editors highlight parallels between Robert’s work and the IDS Bulletin, in that both share values and legacies in championing critical thinking, bringing lesser-heard voices to the fore, and fostering ongoing learning and reflection. One might add to these parallels a commitment to ‘engaged’ research and evidence – both Robert’s work and the IDS Bulletin remain resolutely focused on mobilising knowledge to make a difference and transforming lives. Robert’s contributions to the IDS Bulletin have truly been central in shaping it, forging its values, style and reputation; one might even say that the IDS Bulletin and Robert’s work have co-developed, and have helped shape development studies.