Robert Chambers is one of the most influential and prolific scholars to write about participation, poverty, and knowledge in development studies. His books, chapters, and papers have revolutionised the discipline, inspiring both participatory processes and more inclusive practice. Perhaps not as well known are the articles he authored for the IDS Bulletin. This Archive Collection explores Robert’s contributions to the journal across five decades with a view to resurfacing buried gems of development studies theory and reinvigorating debates about how the sector can improve: it collates his most important articles and presents a new introduction reflecting on key ideas and offering a critical analysis of the common themes throughout Robert’s work. New perspectives discuss how theories have changed over time, and the continued relevance of key ideas. The articles reproduced here show not only how Robert’s thinking evolved but also hint at broader changes in strategic focus for the Institute of Development Studies itself, as well as development theory in general.