Subject guides to archives
Apartheid was a system of racial segregation, which was brought in by National Party governments in South Africa after the general election of 1948. Legislation divided citizens into four racial groups; "black", "white", "coloured", and "Indian". Residential areas were then segregated along those lines.
The imposition of apartheid prompted popular resistance within South Africa: arms and trade sanctions were imposed on the South African regime by the international community. These pressures began to take their toll. The last of the apartheid laws was finally repealed in 1991. Democratic elections took place in 1994, with the result that Nelson Mandela, whose life had been defined by the struggle against apartheid, became the President of South Africa.
This guide is not intended to be exhaustive. It complements the Archives Catalogue, which includes a subject search facility.
Ruth First (1925-1982) lived much of her life outside South Africa as a political exile, and was a fervent opponent of the South African regime. She was killed by a parcel bomb sent by the South African secret service. Her extensive papers include correspondence with many of her fellow activists, and drafts of her writings. Some of these archives have been digitised.
Mary Benson (1919-2000) became secretary to the Treason Trials Defence Fund in 1957. She was served with a banning order in 1966 and left South Africa later that year for London where she continued to work tirelessly against apartheid. Her papers include correspondence with fellow activists, and photographs of Nelson Mandela, about whom she published a book.
Steve Biko (1946-1977) became the first president of the South African Students' Organisation in 1968. In March 1973 the South African government placed heavy restrictions on his movements and activities and banned any quotation from his speeches or conversations. Despite this, Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement played a large role in organising the protests which led to the Soweto riots on 16 June 1976. Steve Biko died in prison in Pretoria on 12 September 1977, where he had suffered severe head injuries, believed to have been caused by police beatings.
The African National Congress (ANC) was founded in 1912 and banned in South Africa in 1960. In 1949 the Programme of Action, with mass opposition to apartheid at its heart, was adopted as ANC policy. The ban on the ANC was lifted in February 1990. This archive of the ANC includes papers relating to the treason trials of 1954-1961; public statements and publicity material 1953, 1972-1976; papers of South African Indian organisations including the Transvaal Indian Congress, 1939-1963.
Papers on the South African disturbances, 1976, including comments on the disturbances by black, white and coloured individuals, accounts of incidents and papers by the Soweto Students' Representative Council, the South African Institute of Race Relations, the National Union of South African Students, and the Union of Black Journalists.
Ben Turok became a full-time organiser for the Congress of the People after his return to South Africa in 1953. During the 1960 emergency, Turok went underground to help re-establish ANC organisation. In 1962 he was sentenced to three years in prison under the Explosives Act. After his release, he escaped via Botswana and was resident in the UK from 1972. He returned to South Africa in 1990. Subjects in his papers include political involvement in South Africa, 1961-1981, and correspondence, 1971-1980, with Oliver Tambo and others regarding ANC activities.
This collection comprises Nelson Mandela (1964) Mary Benson papers, reference ICS 6/45. © University of Dundee, The Peto Collection
papers collected by Joel Joffe, the lawyer acting for Nelson Mandela, relating to Mandela’s trial in Pretoria (1962) and the Rivonia Trial (1963-1964). The collection includes Mandela’s address to the court, detailing his political commitment and activities in the ANC; the initial statement made by Mandela to his lawyers, giving details of his early life; notes by Mandela on his life and ANC association; and manuscript notes by Mandela to use if he were sentenced to death.
Marion Friedmann (1918-c1975) was a founder member of the Liberal Party of South Africa, which was forced to disband under the Prohibition of Political Interference Act of 1968. Her papers, 1957-1963, concern South African politics, mainly apartheid and the oppression of black South Africans.
Peter Hjul (1929-1999) became active in the Liberal Party and chaired the Cape Provincial Division. He also chaired the editorial board of the radical fortnightly "Contact". He and his family were harassed by South African security forces. The Hjul family emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1965, where Peter Hjul continued his career as a journalist. His papers, 1954-1968, include committee minutes, election material, and reports.
Ronnie Bethlehem (1935-1997) was an economist, whose papers illustrate the transition to democracy. Subjects include sanctions, the business community and the new South Africa, housing policy, and the restructuring of the economy.
Papers on the South African disturbances, 1976, including comments on the disturbances by black, white and coloured individuals, accounts of incidents and papers by the Soweto Students' Representative Council, the South African Institute of Race Relations, the National Union of South African Students, and the Union of Black Journalists.
Coins and counterfeiting
This guide to archives relating to coins, coinage and counterfeiting is not intended to be exhaustive. It complements the archives catalogue, which includes a subject search facility.
- Sir Joseph Banks letter on the mint and coinage, 1804 September 14
- Earl Russell letter on the design of the florin, 1847 December 2
- Sir Charles Wood letter on the inscription of the florin, 1849 October 19
- Case Billingsley and John Billingsley letters on coinage, 1730-1732
- Transcripts relating to French coinage, 1554-1720
- George Chalmers’ proposals for coinage, 1558
- Dutch coinage instructions, c1580
- Treatise on the Royal Mint by Sir Richard Martin, 1603
- Indenture appointing Thomas Neale to the Royal Mint, 1686
- Hopton Haynes allegations of corrupted coinage, 1700-1702
- English coinage and Royal Mint papers, 1722-1774
- Irish coinage papers, 1724
- Henry Hucks Gibbs correspondence on bimetallism, 1876-1884
- Royal Mint papers, 1729-1770
- Royal Mint papers and tables, 1740-1748
- Treatise on the creation of silver coinage, 1807
- Coinage memoranda book on replacement of silver coinage, 1817-1824
- Rogers Ruding volume on coinage legislation, 1817-1818
Archives on education
- Teacher-pupils: Andrew Bell papers,1797-1807
- Infant education: Samuel Wilderspin papers, 1823-c1980
- Infant education: Wilderspin additional papers, c1824-c1980
- Victorian education policies: Medley Collection, 1883-1884
- School notebooks: Atkinson family, 1668-1696
- Examinations: University of London Examinations Board, 1908-1995
- Russell Committee on Adult Education papers, investigation of non-vocational adult education, 1969-1972
- Frank Sydney Milligan papers, adult educationalist’s archive, 1918-1968
- Wakefield Mechanics’ Institution, list of evening classes,1843
- Wilderspin in Wakefield, Samuel Wilderspin’s interaction with colleagues in Wakefield,1843-1866
- University of London Department of Extra-Mural Studies, archive of adult education, c1876-c1990
- Notes on an educational method by Philip Doddridge, 1708-1821
- University of London archive (includes African and West Indian universities, c1943-c1970)
- University of London Collection, 1825-1999
- University of Copenhagen documents, 1837-1838
- Silvanus P Thompson correspondence (University of London) 1891-1909
- Professor H. H. Bellot papers (University of London, African universities) c1850-1969
- Albert Frederick Pollard papers (University of London) 1884-1948
- Andrew Rutherford papers (University of London, literature teaching) 1960s-1998
- Professor Arthur Geoffrey Dickens (universities of London and Hull) c1929-1992
- Sir Douglas William Logan papers (University of London) 1930-1987
- James Stewart Cook papers (University of London) 1922-1979
- London Schools and Colleges Dining Club (University of London) 1926-2011
Archives on pacifism
This guide to archives on pacifism held at Senate House Library is not intended to be exhaustive. It complements the Archives Catalogue, which includes a subject search facility.
The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 caused euphoric crowds to gather in the capitals of several combatant nations. Notoriously, Hitler was photographed in the midst of a huge, jubilant crowd in Vienna. But there was also notable opposition to the war. Keir Hardie addressed large crowds of protestors in London as war loomed.
Hardie was the first leader of the Labour Party. His successor but three, Ramsay MacDonald, who also opposed the war, stepped down from the leadership once hostilities had begun. In Britain, several pacifist organisations continued the campaign. The introduction of military conscription in 1916 boosted the appeal of the No Conscription Fellowship (NCF), which had been founded by Fenner Brockway in November 1914. Brockway, like many pacifists of this era, was imprisoned for his beliefs.
Pacifism was a significant political force in the inter-war period although the increasingly obvious menace of Nazi Germany in 1930s convinced the Labour Party, for instance, to abandon its quasi-pacifist position and support re-armament. Nevertheless, the build-up to the outbreak of the Second World War was accompanied by a significant amount of pacifist activity. Anti-war campaigners included Christian groups and members of far left and extreme right-wing organisations. Campaigns against the war continued after the declaration of war on Germany by Britain on 3 September 1939.
Includes the following: suppressed leaflets and pamphlets including those written by Clifford Allen and Fenner Brockway, 1913-1917; The Tribunal, 1918-1919; Union of Democratic Control leaflets, 1919; pacifist leaflets, 1915-1916; No Conscription Fellowship leaflets, 1916; map of inland waters showing suspected mine fields, 1919.
Includes publications by the Peace Pledge Union, the British Union of Fascists, Eric Gill, and Vera Brittain. Also includes A review of the proceedings of the Appellate Tribunal (December 1939), War Resisters’ International, British Union, Friends’ Home Service Committee, National Peace Council, Independent Labour Party Women’s Peace Campaign leaflets.
Notes, press cuttings, pamphlets and journals compiled and collected by Caroline Elizabeth Playne for her research and publications, including material
regarding the war effort in the First World War in Britain, France, Germany and other countries, pacifism, censorship and propaganda and the internment of aliens in Britain, along with publications of pacifist groups, such as the National Peace Council, the No-Conscription Fellowship and the Union of Democratic Control, socialist pamphlets and official publications.
Some Trotskyists initially opposed Britain’s entry into the Second World War. Evidence of this can be found in this comprehensive collection of Trotskyist archives and publications
Archives on the United States of America
This guide to archives relating to the United States of America is not intended to be exhaustive. It complements the Archives Catalogue, which includes subject and place name search facilities, and the United States Studies.
Archives related to music
- Nineteenth century manuscript transcriptions of British Library music manuscripts.
- Transcriptions from the Ambrosian (Milan) Missal by choirmaster Thomas Helmore.
- Manuscript transcriptions of works by fifteenth century composer John Dunstable Maitland by music critic John Alexander Fuller, early twentieth century.
- Mid-eighteenth century manuscript copies of works by Stanley, Hasse, Handel, Purcell, Caporale and Arne, copied by Bayley Marley.
- Early twentieth century manuscript transcription of the parts of “Missa O quam suavis, for five voices, by an anonymous English composer c.1500”.
- Papers on early church drama collected by historian and composer William Smolden.
- A nineteenth century manuscript copy of Banchieri’s ‘The Nobleness of the Ass, produced for critic, editor, and forger John Payne Collier.
- Manuscript score of an extract from ‘Beatrice di Tenda’ by Vincenzo Bellini , 19th century.
- Late eighteenth century manuscript copy of a musical score of ‘Adoramus te Christe, a quattro voci’ by Giacomo Antonio Perti.
- A copy of a 1739 violin sonata composed by Francesco Geminiani dated1829.
- Early 18th century manuscript scores of Italian solo cantatas.
- Manuscript copy of Donizetti’s unpublished opera ‘Gabriella di Vergy‘, including passages in the composer’s own hand, c1825-1845.
- A late eighteenth century manuscript musical score of Christus factus est.
- Eighteenth century Portuguese musical score: Seis Modinhas com accompanhamento de Pianoforte de Differentes Autores.
- A collection of manuscripts books containing a range of works by various composers formerly in the collections of the Elvey family and Skeats family, c1770-c1870.
- An early nineteenth century Book of psalm and hymn tunes.
- Papers, including note books, scrapbooks and manuscripts of collector and musicologist Alfred James Hipkins.
- Musical score extracts for incidental music for John Masfield’s Melloney Hotspur by John Hotchkiss, 1952.
- Manuscript scores of two versions of A Lyke-Wake: Border Ballad, 1934, by English composer Sir Arnold Bax.
- Scores by Vilem Tausky.
- Records of the Union of Graduates in Music, 1893-1972.
Friendly societies and related archives
Guide to literary archives
- James Baxter letter, 1960
- Arnold Bennett manuscripts including The Risks of Life, 1913
- Austin Dobson papers,1869-1966
- Roy Fuller letters to Douglas Foskett,1971
- James Hanley letter, 1933
- Phoebe Hesketh correspondence, c1960-c1990
- Rose Macaulay letters to Eric Gillett, c1932-1939
- John Masefield, MS951, MS1200
- Susan Miles poems, correspondence,1920s-1980s
- Thomas Sturge Moore papers, MS978, MS1159
- Herbert Palmer papers, c1891-c1961
- Terry Pratchett drafts, c1983-c2004, and correspondence with Henye Meyer, 1994-2007
- Paul Tabori papers, 1927-1973
- Sir Rabindranath Tagore drafts, 1921-1958
- Opal Whiteley papers, c1900-c1978
Sterling Library manuscript collection includes works by Byron, H. E. Bates, John Ruskin, William Langland, Sir Walter Scott, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Arnold Bennett, Siegfried Sassoon, and Compton MacKenzie.
- Katharine Longley [Charles Dickens]
- Michael Slater [Charles Dickens]
- Katharine Eggar [Shakespeare]
- Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence [Bacon/Shakespeare]
- Sylvia Legge [Thomas Sturge Moore]
- Ridgill Trout [Shakespeare]
- Constance Pott [Bacon/Shakespeare]
- Mary Lago – Amiya Chakravarty letters [Tagore]
- Hans van Marle Collection [Joseph Conrad]
- Ternan family papers [Charles Dickens]
- Hugh Hale Bellot papers, c1850-1969
- Ephraim John Burford papers, 1973-1975
- Arthur Geoffrey Dickens papers, c1929-1992
- Charles Harding Firth notes, refs: MS924/105-163, MS924/522-588, c1900-c1920
- Edward Alfred Jones papers, undated [c1915]
- Robert Arthur Humphreys papers, 1933-1984
- Albert Frederick Pollard papers, 1884-1948
- John Horace Round correspondence, articles, refs: MS924/613-695, 718-942, 1880-1928
- Frederic Seebohm correspondence, transcripts, refs: MS924/1-52, MS924/956, AL232, c1525-1909
- John Robert Seeley papers, 1842-c1940
- Francis Wormald papers, c1895-1972, 1988
History of the Book archive sources
- Mudie’s Select Library: Sarah Keith collection, 1842-c1972
- Goldsmiths Library archive: Foxwell papers, 1584-c1935, MS602, MS789, MS790, MS1115, MS1166
- University of London Library, 1901-2004
- Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence papers, 1556-1954
- Sir Louis Sterling papers, 1903-1974
- Douglas Foskett papers, c1940-1991
- Guide to literary archivesDon Richnell papers,, c1922-c1991
- John Henry Pyle Pafford papers, 1930, 1947, MS700, MS701
Palaeography and medieval archive sources
- Alfred John Fairbank letter, 1974 June 26
- Handwriting specimens, 1613-1758
- Francis Wormald papers, c1895-1972, 1988
- Property deeds relating to England, Wales and Jersey, 1162-1569
- Deeds, 15th century – 1879
- Seymour Montefiore Robert Rosso de Ricci papers, 1902-1955
- Arthur Jefferies Collins volume of lectures, c1948
- Cyril Wright papers, c1933-1972
- Herbert Thoma papers, c1400-1975
- Thomas Julian Brown papers, 1859-1986
- Notebook on medieval manuscripts, 1950
- Fuller collection of manuscripts, 12th century-20th century
- Carlton shorthand collection, 16th century-20th century
Psychic investigations, magic and the paranormal
- Harry Price (1881-1948) was a psychic investigator and author who achieved great renown. His extensive archive includes details of experiments regarding psychic phenomena and witchcraft.
- Harold Frost (1892-1975) became interested in psychic research in the 1920s in Essex and other areas. His papers include scrapbooks with notes of sittings with mediums of various circles.
- Trevor Hall was the author of Search for Harry Price, 1978. His correspondence, 1956-1986, included subjects such as Eric Dingwall's life after retirement and Harry Price.
- Ida Holden retired from her job at Mirror Group Newspapers in 1959. Her papers include details of the alleged thought transference from Cecil King and Lord Northcliffe thereafter.
- Edinburgh seances, 1921-1936. Emmeline Vyner, who lived in Edinburgh in the 1930s, had a firm belief in life after death but her accounts could be critical and humorous. Her papers comprise manuscript and typed records of spiritualist meetings, voice circles, and card readings.
- Caroline Rhys-Davids (1857-1942) became involved with spirit communications and telepathy, and published on the subject after the death of her only son, Arthur, during the First World War. Her papers comprise diaries and notebooks containing automatic writing and notes on the afterlife.
- Francis Rolt-Wheeler (1876-1960) was a prolific writer who had a second career as an occultist. Rolt-Wheeler's works included a ten volume science history of the universe. He was the author of The Twenty Two Keys of Protection, c1940.
- Anne Rushout, who died in 1849, was the daughter of John,1st Baron Northwick of Northwick Park, Worcestershire. Her diaries, 1828-1849, illustrate her interest in spiritualism.
- Eric Dingwall (1890-1986) wrote several books including Ghosts and Spirits in the Ancient World, 1930. His archive includes correspondence with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini and Harry Price as well as details of investigations into paranormal events.
- Matthew Manning was born in 1955. He became famous with the publication of his first book, The Link, in 1974. The Link and In the Minds of Millions (1977) were autobiographical works which described psychic phenomena. His papers include automatic drawings.
- Paul Tabori (1908-1974), a notable author and screenwriter in his own right, was a close friend and the literary executor of Harry Price. Tabori's papers include drafts of books and articles which illustrate his interest in the supernatural world.
- John Lord completed a doctorate on the relevance of philosophy to psychical research. His papers include his writings on parapsychology, astrology, pseudoscience, UFOs, evidence for paranormal events, and oracles.
Guide to archives related to enslavement
This guide provides an overview of the archival collections at Senate House Library relating to enslavement and enslaved people. For the terminology used in this guide we have followed the recommendations of “Anti-Racist Description Resources“, provided by the Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia’s Anti-Racist Description Working Group. Where possible and relevant the entries have been enhanced with links to the Legacies of British Slavery database. For further information on the archival collections listed, we recommend visiting the individual entries in the archives catalogue, which have been hyperlinked as part of this guide.
The Akers family were plantation owners in the West Indies. As substantial landowners and enslavers on St Kitts and St Vincent, the Akers played an important role in finance, business, trade and politics of the islands. A typed copy book of letters and typed biographical and genealogical notes are available at MS1014 (Akers Transcripts). The family’s compensation claims after the Abolition of the slave trade can be traced on the Legacies of British Slavery database.
The collection includes a number of materials relating explicitly to enslavement (MS999/1/7, MS999/2A/1 and MS999/2A/3).
Archival reference code: MS999
Manuscript volume from around 1745-1747 containing a memorandum by John Ashley, headed 'A Proposal to support the British Nation against the ambitious views of France. Humbly offered to the consideration of the Right Honourable Henry Pelham', suggesting the substitution of a capitation tax on sugar and salt for duties on the products of West Indian plantations as a means of undermining French commercial competitiveness. John Ashley and his descendants were enslavers and benefitted from enslavement (see Legacies of British Slavery database).
Archival reference code: MS279
Barbados was in British colony from its initial settlement in 1627, until its independence in 1966. The main export of the island was sugar, which was grown on plantations using the labour of enslaved people. The Leeward islands include the Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Saint-Martin, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Barbuda, Monserrat and Guadeloupe.
The papers contain manuscript correspondence and other papers relating to the financial administration of Barbados and the Leeward Islands, 1669-1682. They are mostly concerned with the auditing of the accounts for the farm of the 4½% duty collected during the years 1670-77. A farm was the system of leasing out the rights of collecting and retaining taxes in a certain district.
The correspondents include: two farmers of the 4½% duty, Sir Charles Wheler and Colonel John Strode; [William Blathwayt], Auditor General of H.M. revenues in America; [Henry Guy], Secretary to the Treasury; and the governors of the Leeward Islands and Barbados.
Archival reference code: MS401
The will and legal papers of James Dotin dated 1745. James Dotin was Acting Governor of Barbados three times, 1733, 1735-1737, 1740-2, and an enslaver.
The will lists an inventory of Mount Edge plantation including a list of enslaved people; attached are an indenture regarding sale of Baxter Valley by John and Elizabeth Dotin to William Duke, 1749, and a disposition by Edward Hay regarding authenticity of the documents, 1773. Edward Hay (1722-1779) was Governor of Barbados, 1772-1779, and an enslaver.
The will names the enslaved people Sebina and James as the heirs to a small portion of Dotin’s property. It also mentions that Sebina and James should be released from captivity with a sum of money to support them after Dotin’s death.
Archival reference code: MS1134
An unaddressed fragment of a letter written by Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London, c1788, which possibly refers to the parliamentary debates on the slave trade in 1788. Beilby Porteus was a leading advocate for the abolition of slavery.
Senate House Library’s collections also include Beilby Porteus’ Library.
Archival reference code: MS820
James Bruce (1756-1808) was a lieutenant governor of Dominica and an early purchaser of land in Dominica on which enslaved people were held captive (see Legacies of British Slavery Database). The letters include correspondence with and relating to James Neave in London, whose business interests in Dominica were being looked after by Bruce. Bruce was trying to sell Neave's property and collect debts. It includes allusions to enslavement and enslaved people on the island.
Archival reference code: ICS183
Castle Wemyss was a sugar estate situated in the parish of St James in Jamaica which relied on the labour of enslaved people until the Abolition Act of 1833. The records contain deeds and legal, administrative and financial papers relating to the Castle Wemyss Estate, belonging (during the period covered by the papers) successively to Gilbert Mathison, Simon Halliday and Rev Walter Stevenson Halliday. The deeds and legal papers record the ownership of the estate and financial claims upon it by other parties, as well as compensation claims under the Abolition Act by Walter Halliday, during the period 1802-1845.
The archive includes the research papers of Mrs Halliday on the history of the Castle Wemyss estate from c.1990 including notes, tables summarising the information available about each of the enslaved people named on the returns.
The collection includes many materials relating explicitly to enslavement, the enslaved people that were part of the estate, their labour and their treatment:
- ICS 101/1/1/5-6, 8-13: lists of enslaved people
- ICS 101/1/2/19-20, ICS 101/1/3/42, ICS 101/1/4/5-6, 11-13, 19: in relation to compensation under Abolition Act
- ICS 101/2/1/5, 62-63; ICS 101/2/2/54; ICS 101/2/3/16; ICS 101/2/4/27-28, 32, 41-46, 46, 48; ICS 101/2/5/50: mentions of enslaved people in correspondence including on their treatment and in one case a release from captivity
- ICS 101/3: Records of enslaved people and monthly reports on their work
Archival reference code: ICS101
The manuscript volumes contain copies of the minutes of the 'Committee of Council appointed for the consideration of all matters relating to Trade and Foreign Plantations', 3 March 1823 to 6 February 1827. In 1784, a new Committee of Council on Trade and Plantations was created by an Order in Council (Privy Council). Its functions were mainly consultative. As the Industrial Revolution gathered momentum, the department's work became mainly executive, and from 1840 a succession of statutes gave it power to regulate industry and commerce. It officially became the Board of Trade in 1861.
Archival reference code: MS159
A manuscript petition from 1671 of William Courten (1642-1702), grandson and heir of Sir William Courten, the administrators and executors of Courten's estate (Sir Richard Mauleverer, Sir Erasmus de la Fountaine, Sir John Ayton, Maurice Thompson, Walter Deureux, Thomas Coppin and William Lloyd) and the rest of Courten's creditors, requesting compensation for the loss of Courten's estates in Barbados. The petitioners beg the king to compel the merchants who have unlawfully dispossessed Sir William Courten of his plantations in the Barbados to make redress to his creditors.
Archival reference code: MS407
A deed relating to Danish royal finances, 15 February 1822, entitled 'Acte hypothécaire sur plusieurs revenus des finances royales'. With it C.J. Hambro and Sons of Copenhagen through A.T. Haldimand and Sons assigned revenues to secure a loan of 3 million pounds at 5% raised on the London market on terms settled on 16 October 1821 and ratified by Frederick VI on 10 November 1821. The loan was to be secured on tolls from the Sound, and on mortgages and revenues from plantations on Caribbean islands.
Archival reference code: MS763
The De Morgan family papers include materials concerning a petition to the women of America from the women of England about the abolition of slavery in the United States (c.1850 – c.1852). The materials include:
1) an unpublished paper by Augustus De Morgan concerning a protest against enslavement annotated with the comment 'suggested by S(ophia) E(lizabeth) De Morgan, drawn up by Augustus De Morgan' (1852) (MS913A/3/2)
2) Five letters to Sophia De Morgan from Rachel Chadwick and five letters from Edwin Chadwick, with a enclosed letter from Lord Shaftsbury concerning enslavement (1852) (MS913B/1/1)
3) Four letters written by Sophia De Morgan to Edwin Chadwick (undated), Hugh Fortescue, Lord Ebrington (c1860), George Granville Leveson-Gower, Duke of Sutherland (undated) and an anonymous recipient (1860) concerning enslavement and social welfare issues (MS913B/1/5)
4) A printed copy of a letter by Lord Shaftesbury and accompanying address sent to the editor of The Times, entitled 'Slavery in the United States' (1852) as well as a handwritten paper titled 'Address on American slavery', (c1850) (MS913B/2/3)
Archival reference code: MS913
A manuscript volume containing three memoranda on colonial trade by Joshua Gee (d 1730), a merchant and writer on commerce. The volume dated from 1721-1728. It includes:
1) a memorial relating to trade and the plantations, 1721, particularly with respect to iron, copper, hemp, flax, boards, timber, and to the enumerated commodities which are now restrained to be first imported into Great Britain, endorsed 'Received 27 Oct 1721, Read 8 Nov 1721'
2) a memorial to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, 1728, respecting the trade, raw produce and the manufactures of the colonies, and the production of naval stores there
3) a paper giving Gee's answers to several queries sent to him regarding African trade, 1726, which is endorsed 'Received March 30, Read March 31, 1726'.
An endorsement by George Chalmers, written on a flyleaf at the beginning of the volume, gives a brief biography of Gee and states that the three pieces in the manuscript were written on subjects referred to Gee by the Board of Trade, and were never printed.
Archival reference code: MS99
James Glen (1701-1777) was the Governor of South Carolina when this manuscript was created in 1749. The volume contains answers from James Glen to queries from the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, giving details of the country's geography, weather, neighbours, constitution, shipping and trade, and an account of exports for 1747-1748. It includes details on the population of enslaved people as well as relations with Native American tribes in South Carolina. The letter was possibly the one from Glen read by the Lords Commissioners on 9 Nov 1749 - see the Journal of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, 1742-1749.
Archival reference code: MS114
The collection contains records and minutes of the League of Nations International Commission of Enquiry into the Existence of Slavery and Forced Labour in the Republic of Liberia, 1930. It includes correspondence and verbatim records of testimonies given by witnesses.
Archival reference code: MS788
MS878 is a collection of papers relating to politics, genealogy and enslavement in Jamaica (?1722-1868). It includes among other materials papers assembled by Lyndon Howard Evelyn (1799 - 9 September 1881) between 1832 and 1868. He was Collector of Customs in Jamaica until 1834 and an enslaver. The papers contain a copy of a covering letter (dated 15 July 1868) to George Sclater-Booth, Secretary to the Treasury, which supported a claim to compensation for Evelyn’s dismissal from the post of Collector of Customs in 1834. They also include materials on Evelyn's role in the Baptist War, one of the largest revolts of enslaved people in Jamaica, December 1831-January 1832. Evelyn also made successful claims for compensation under the 1833 Abolition Act in 1837 (see Legacies of British Slavery database).
Archival reference code: MS878
Stephen Drew was an agent of the tontine on the Dry Sugar Work Estate, located near Spanish Town, St. Catherine’s Parish, Jamaica, an estate dependent on the labour of enslaved people for its production of sugar. A tontine is an annuity shared by subscribers to a loan or common fund.
The papers relating to Adam Smith are apparently of J.W. Bromley, solicitor of 1 South Square, Gray's Inn, 1832-1836, relating to claims and counterclaims to compensation for the enslaved people on Smith’s estate.
Archival reference code: MS691
A manuscript titled 'Notes relatives à la station de la cote d'Afrique. Gorée” from July 1820, partly written by Alphonse Louis Théodore Moges, Comte de Moges, a French Vice Admiral (fl 1820-1860). It comprises an account of the French colony of Senegal, with special reference to Gorée Island and Albréda, their products, inhabitants and trade. Particular attention is given to the slave trade and means of suppressing it are suggested.
Archival reference code: MS463
The Newtons established themselves in Barbados in 1654 with Samuel Newton’s purchase of land in Christ Church, which was later to become the estate of Newton's and was held in the family for at least another 200 years. Much of the material was gathered together and created by Thomas Lane (30 September 1754 - 10 January 1824), a lawyer and enslaver, in his management of the estate. The papers contain information about the production of sugar and the management of the plantations, which relied on the labour of enslaved people. There are also references to other crops grown on the plantations, inventories of belongings, including the lists of people held captive, and some legal documents. Successive owners of the Newton estate and their wills can also be traced on the Legacies of British slavery database. In a separate part of the archive there are also letters from the merchant Samuel Clay and Ben Cryer to Barbara Newton dated 13 July 1689 (MS1255).
The collection includes a number of materials relating explicitly to enslavement:
- MS523/441: a petition from a formerly enslaved woman Elizabeth Ann Miler for a certificate of her freedom and for that of her children
- MS523/579: correspondence concerning an enslaved woman named Jane
- MS523/651: correspondence concerning the freeing from captivity (manumission) of the enslaved woman Dolly Newton
- MS523/652: a letter from the formerly enslaved woman Dolly Newton
- MS523/690: a letter from the enslaved woman Jane Lane to John Lane
- MS523/970: legal document relating to the Newton estate including a list of enslaved people
- MS523/973: a report by Thomas Lane on an interview with Elizabeth Newton, a former enslaved woman, probably part of a letter to John Lane
- MS523/974: a report on an interview with John Thomas, an enslaved man, with alterations by Thomas Lane
- MS523/975: a draft deed concerning the freeing from captivity (manumission) of the enslaved woman Jenny
- MS523/976: correspondence from John Lane and Thomas Lane to Jenny, dated 8 May 1818 on the sale of her two enslaved son, Robert and Henry Morris.
- MS523/979: a copy of deed the freeing from captivity (manumission) of Polly Kitty Williams, an enslaved woman and sister of John Thomas (mentioned in MS523/974 and MS523/979)
- MS523/1105: includes a list of enslaved people
- MS523/1106: an inventory including a lists of enslaved people
Archival reference code: MS523
A jigsaw puzzle dated from the early 19th century showing a narrative of the production of sugar in 15 images, from enslaved people working on the sugar plantations of the Caribbean through refining of sugar cane, transport to London, manufacturing and wholesaling of loaves of sugar and then retail sale. The jigsaw is in 39 pieces (2 are missing), housed originally in a wooden box together with a copy of the composite image on paper. Hand-coloured engraving, published by E(dward) Wallis, 42 Skinner Street, London. It is based on a pamphlet designed for children titled “Cuffy the Negro’s Doggrel Description of the Progress of Sugar” (published in London, also by Edward Wallis in 1823) and was probably made to support the campaign for the abolition of the slave trade.
Archival reference code: MS1010
A letter written by Richard Lawson, dated 21 May 1800 on the island of St Thomas, Virgin Islands, addressed to Messrs. Anderson [of London], concerning Lawson's schooner Nonesuch carrying on it enslaved people.
Archival reference code: MS821
The Royal African Company was founded in 1672 and held the English monopoly in the trade of enslaved people until 1698, when it was opened up to private traders. The Royal African Company continued in the trade until 1731, when it was abandoned in favour of traffic in ivory and gold dust.
MS109 is a manuscript volume containing transcripts of documents relating to the Royal African Company from 1742. The volume contains:
1) a copy of a petition to the King in Council for a charter to enable the Company to fit out a naval force to attack Spanish settlements and shipping in America, dated 26 March 1742
2) a copy of a report made on the petition by a committee of the Privy Council, dated 22 July 1742
3) a copy of reports to the committee by the Attorney and Solicitor General
4) a copy memorial of the Company in reply to certain questions in the various reports, dated 6 December 1742
Archival reference code: MS109
MS217 is a manuscript volume containing a Royal African Company of England report into commerce in Sierra Leone. It is signed by Alexander Archbold. Archbold had been an employee of the Company in Sierra Leone for 7 years.
Archival referSandbach, Tinné and Co., Liverpool ence code: MS217
Sandbach, Tinné and Co. were first involved in the cotton and coffee trade, then in sugar production in British Guiana from around 1810. The firm were one of the largest enslavers on British Guiana until the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833 and afterwards used indentured labourers to continue their activities. The economy of British Guiana remained almost completely based on sugarcane production until the 1880s. The company and its associates as well as the compensations received as a result of the Abolition Act can be traced on the Legacies of British Slavery database.
MS677 includes correspondence relating to the trade of Sandbach, Tinné and Co. with British Guiana, 1808-1909. These contain incidental references to French, Dutch and English plantations in Guiana, financial arrangements, the state of crops and the labour force, and the use of machinery in plantations.
The collection includes a number of materials relating explicitly to enslavement (MS677/4, 10, 12, 33, 38, 46).
Archival reference code: MS677
ICS70 contains correspondence from 1807-1882 between McInroy, Sandbach & Co of Demerara [later Sandbach, Parker & Co] and McInroy, Parker & Co of Glasgow [later Sandbach, Tinné & Co of Liverpool] concerning sugar, rum, coffee, and fishing and cotton trades, shipments, the purchase and sale of estates, and political and economic conditions in the Caribbean and Europe.
The collection includes a number of materials relating explicitly to enslavement (ICS70/22, 38, 52, 62, 125, 197, 199, 211, 214, 229, 232, 244).
Archival reference code: ICS70
A pass issued for the enslaved woman Jane on 23 March 1845 by her enslaver W. Woodbridge, restricting her movements.
Archival reference code: MS758
Record of John Warrow, a labourer born in Africa in 1810, from a court martial in Trinidad in 1834 to his transportation to Sydney in 1838, together with a list of personal details and a physical description of him. This colonial conduct record describes alleged offences against the disciplinary regime of penal settlements. John Warrow is also listed on the Convict Records of Australia database.
Archival reference code: MS667
The Taylor family were plantation owners and enslavers in Jamaica. The archive mainly comprises letters written and received between 1770 and 1835 by Simon Taylor, his family and heirs, and his friends, agents and business partners. The subject matter ranges from the domestic (illness, family quarrels, disinheritance, bigamy) to business (enslaved people, sugar, trade and shipping, the effects of hurricanes, the introduction of a steam engine on an estate), to politics (the Maroon and French wars, the anti-slavery movement and abolition of the slave trade). The collection also includes detailed reports on the estates made for Anna Susannah Watson Taylor in 1835.
The collection includes a high volume of materials relating explicitly to enslavement across the entire set of papers.
Archival reference code: ICS120
The West India Committee was formed protect and promote trade in the British West Indies in 1735. The Committee became an influential body that represented the interests of the sugar merchants of London and plantation owners in the Caribbean, including defending and promoting enslavement in the first decades of its existence.
Senate House Library’s collection includes microfilm copies of minutes of meetings of the West India Committee and sub-committees, 1769-1924, the minutes of the British and Colonial Anti-Bounty Association, 1887-1890 as well as the notebooks and letter books of Edwin Fitzpatrick, John Foster Alleyne, Robert Reece, Thomas D. Hills, William D. Bruce.
The original papers are held at the Library and Archive of the West India Committee.
Archival reference code: M915
William Hewitt (1719-1781) was Commissioner for the Sale of Crown Lands in the Caribbean and an enslaver. The papers are concerned chiefly with Hewitt's work in the West Indies 1767-1771 and 1776-1781, including Grenada, the Grenadines, St Vincent, Dominica and Tobago. He was an early purchaser of land in Dominica and Tobago where he benefitted from the labour of enslaved people.
The collection includes a number of materials relating explicitly to enslavement (MS522/179, 184-211, 302, 454).
Archival reference code: MS522
John Pye letter (AL175)
A letter by John Pye from 16 August 1832 addressed to John Crisp, Esq, of the Anti-Slavery Society concerning the conditions under which enslaved people work and stating that, if elected to the next parliament, he would vote for the abolition of slavery.
Thomas Clarkson letter (AL215)
A letter by the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846), dated 21 April 1826, addressed to Peter Clare, in which he thanks him for the details of a successful abolitionist petition.
John Lunan letter (AL253)
A letter by John Luhan (fl 1814-1828) resident of Jamaica, to Rear-Admiral Sir Home Popham, from 15 October 1819, inserted in a copy of his book, “Abstract of the laws of Jamaica relating to slaves” (1819), to '...assist Sir Home in obtaining a knowledge of our Slave Code'.
Samuel Roberts letter (AL307)
A letter by Samuel Roberts (1763-1848), a writer on social issues, dated 26 October 1833, addressed to George Thompson. The letter is a brief covering note to a copy of Roberts's 'An address to the members of the two Wilberforce-Committees, London and York', concerning a suitable memorial to the late abolitionist William Wilberforce.
James Stephen letter (AL345)
A letter by James Stephen (1758-1832) lawyer and abolitionist, dated 7 November 1825, addressed to James Cropper concerning a publication of the Liverpool anti-slavery society, which remained unpublished, current aspects of the problem of emancipation and concluding that direct legislation by parliament is the only way to successfully bring about abolition.
P K Seaman letter (AL354)
A letter from P K Seaman to his father from 1 June 1851 describing the capture of three enslavers. Includes 4 sketches of vessels captured.
Thomas Clarkson was an abolitionist. The first letter (AL531) was addressed to Rev M Maurice, written on 9 August c.1807-16, urging him to restore the committee at Southampton to promote a petition to Parliament in favour of a plan for the improvement of the condition of enslaved people. The second letter (AL514) was addressed to Henry Hope, dated 9 January 1826. It is a printed circular letter, asking for support for the petition to Parliament to urge them to carry out a plan for the improvement of the condition of the slave population with additional manuscript notes asking for its promotion in the neighbouring towns.
Black Abolitionist Papers (requires Senate House Library membership to login)
Colonial Caribbean, Module I: Settlement, Slavery, and Empire, 1624-1832 (requires Senate House Library membership to login)
Colonial State Papers (1574 - 1757) (requires Senate House Library membership to login)
Slavery, abolition and social justice, 1490-2007 (requires Senate House Library membership to login)
Temperance archive sources
The Independent Order of Rechabites was a friendly society, which was founded in Salford in 1835. The Order was part of the temperance movement. The name of the Order was inspired by the Rechabites, who feature in the 35th Chapter of Jeremiah. The founders of the Order were concerned that many friendly societies met in public houses and their members were therefore vulnerable to the temptations of alcohol. The Order spread around the world: there were branches in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and India. Branches were known as “tents” and presided over by High Chief Rulers, who were assisted by Inside and Outside Guardians, a Levite of the Tent and a group of Elders. Before joining the Order, a prospective member had to sign a pledge that they and their family would abstain from alcohol. The Order is now known as Healthy Investment. Until July 2003, membership of the Society was exclusively for tee-totallers but members may now join if they have a healthy lifestyle.
The Beer Trade Protection Society represented 41,000 “beershops” and 89,000 public houses in England. The Society was based in London and was mainly concerned with the sale of beer and ale within the capital. The Society had a number of functions. It was a political lobbying group but also cared for retired or distressed inn-keepers and their dependents. The Society was particularly concerned with defending the Beerhouse Act of 1830, which exempted the sale of beer from the need to be licensed by a justice. This provision of the Act was under constant pressure from temperance groups.
Theatre Archive Sources
- American theatre and opera scrapbooks, 1875-1892, programmes of plays, concerts and operas performed in the USA, with particular reference to New York and the Metropolitan Opera House.
- Margarete Berger-Hamerschlag papers, c1902-c2008. Includes costume designs, sketches for the theatre.
- Berthold Auerbach papers / Archive of German Theatre, 1881-2002. Auerbach (1874-1960) was a theatre agent. Papers include playbills, memorabilia.
- James Baxter (1926-1972) poet. Letter to John Pocock regarding reviews of plays, The Wide Open Cage, and Jack Winter’s Dream, 1960.
- Cecil Crofton (d 1935) biographical scrapbook with illustrations and small watercolours of theatrical scenes and fellow performers, 1877-1913.
- Florence Farr (1860-1917) actress, mystic, director of the Avenue Theatre in 1894. Includes correspondence, reviews, programmes, c1863-1917.
- Garrick Club playbills for the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, 1825-1826.
- Grieve Family Collection of Theatre designs including panoramas and perspective ‘cut-outs’ in watercolours and wash, 1813-1857.
- Grieve family correspondence, c1822-1921.
- David Halliwell (1936-2006) dramatist. Correspondence with Alan Denson, c1960s-1980s.
- Douglas Jerrold (1803-1857) playwright. Letters, playbills, research papers for biography by Michael Slater.
- Henry Arthur Jones (1851-1929) dramatist. Papers including correspondence, reviews.
- Robert Lucas (1904-1984) was a writer for Austrian political cabaret in the 1920s and 1930s. His papers include scripts and photographs.
- Martin Miller and Hannah Norbert-Miller were exiles from Nazism. Includes correspondence with other notable theatrical figures, theatre programmes.
- Malcolm Morley (1890-1966) actor. Includes play diaries, autobiography.
- Sean O’Casey (1880-1964) playwright. Letters, 1937-1957. Topics include literary critics; the Communist Party; the Catholic Church; his writing.
- Charles Benjamin Purdon (1883-1965), general secretary of Equity. Notebooks on productions of As You like It and Macbeth, 1949-1951.
- Senate House Players, amateur drama at the University of London, c1923-c1999.
- William Smoldon (1872-1974) composer. Papers include manuscripts relating to early church drama.
- William Terriss, actor. Archives relating to his murder in 1897.
Trotskyist archive sources
This guide to Trotskyist archives is not intended to be exhaustive. It includes archival collections held by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and also the Institute of Latin American Studies. The guide complements the Archives Catalogue, which includes a subject search facility.
- Bolivia: political pamphlets, 1965-.
- Chile: political pamphlets, 1965-.
- Alan Clinton papers, c1918-c1990; subject files include Workers' Socialist League, 1980s; Socialist League conference, 1967; Socialist Organiser, 1970s-1980s; Trotskyist pamphlets and journals (c1960s-c1990) including Workers Press, News Line, Socialist Press.
- Edward Crawford collection: periodicals including Workers News, Socialist Appeal, Marxist Bulletin, pamphlets, c1966-c1978.
- Edward Crawford papers: correspondence, draft articles, discussion papers, c1929-c2001. Correspondents include Ian Birchnall, Nils K. Dahl, Albert Glotzer, Paolo Casciolo, Laurens Otter, Tim Wohlforth, Harrison Salisbury, Christopher Hitchens, Ludwik Hass, C. L. R. James, Walter Kendall, and Robert Conquest.
- Will Fancy papers, c1936-c2008: subject files include International Socialist Group, 1967-1969; Victory for Socialism, 1958-1962; International Socialists/Socialist Workers Party internal bulletins, c1959-1966; Socialist Labour League bulletins, circulars, c1958-c1969.
- Stephen Graham lecture on Lenin and Trotsky, 1931.
- Ron Heisler collections, MS1174, MS1186: includes correspondence of Clarence Chrysostom with Sri Lankan Trotskyists, c1974-1999.
- Jim Higgins / Al Richardson collection: includes Spartacists League / Workers Vanguard pamphlets, papers, 1964-2001; International Socialists minutes, circulars, discussion papers, 1960s-1970s; Socialist Review minutes, 1952-1956; International Marxist Group papers, 1963-1967; Workers Socialist League, c1977-1983; Workers Power bulletins, c1975-1992; letters relating to Hugo Dewar, Harry Wicks, Reg Groves.
- Baruch Hirson papers: subjects include Workers' International League; Workers' Party; Trotskyism in South Africa; Workers Organisation for Socialist Action, c1980-1994.
- C. L. R. James papers on West Indian politics, 1940-1965.
- Harry Morris (also known as H.D. Emery, George Weston) and Mary Morris papers: subject files include International Left Opposition, 1930-c1933; Marxist Group, 1937-1938; Marxist League, c1931; Revolutionary Socialist League, 1938-1943; Revolutionary Socialist Party, 1938-1941; Militant Labour League, c1939; Fourth International circulars, papers, c1938-c1948; papers of Mary Morris including memoirs of the Soviet Union, 1923-1928; newspapers and bulletins including Socialist Appeal, 1941 Aug-1948 March (incomplete), and The Communist, 1932 May-1934 January (missing number 6); Socialist Workers Party (USA) internal bulletins, papers, 1936-1939; French Trotskyism journals, reports, 1936-1948.
- Balazs Nagy papers (also known as Michel Varga) including Workers Revolutionary Party, c1976-c1995; Workers International, 1990-2014; memoirs of the rising in Hungary, 1956; Combat International, c1972-1988; Trotskyism in Eastern Europe, 1960s-1970s; Fourth International; Liga Internacionalista de los Trabajadores, c1974-1997.
- Posadas circulars, 1963-1981: subjects include the Fourth International, Trotskyism.
- Ernest Rogers correspondence, c1944-c1998.
- Sri Lankan Trotskyism, 1944-, PP.CE, MS1174, MS1186.
- Trotsky and black nationalism, c1990.
- Workers’ Party of South Africa, 1938-1944: papers including aims and appeals for support, 1944.
Senate House Library also has significant holdings of published Trotskyist material. Descriptions are included in the main library catalogue.