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Senate House Library

Radical Voices

About the exhibition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines radical as ‘advocating thorough and far-reaching political or social reform… characterised by independence of or departure from what is usual or traditional’. In Great Britain, the word has the further association with the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century’s Liberal Party’s stance on reform of society and Parliament. The collections of Senate House Library include material from those who defined themselves as radical in the specific late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British sense, as well as those who more generally advocated for societal improvements through reform. In fact, Senate House Library has organically developed into a hub for collections of radical voices of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Revealing this strand in our collections not only sheds light on enormously influential but subsequently neglected figures, campaigns and organizations, but also on the University’s own institutional history, and potential futures. Join us for a free exhibition and series of events running from 16 January through May 2017.


Several events were held throughout the season, including:

  • Film Night: Storm Centre, 19 January 2017
  • Radical Walking: protest, dissent, and crossing urban boundaries, 17 February 2017
  • Film Night: Never Mind the Ballots, 23 February 2017
  • Ephemera Road Show, 25 February 2017
  • Radical Sounds, 2 March 2017
  • Radical Collections: radicalism and libraries and archives, 3 March 2017
  • Film Night: Spirit of '45, 16 March 2017
  • Radical Voices Aloud, 30 March 2017
  • Discovering Radical London with Interdisciplinary Resources, 28 April 2017
  • Man with a Movie Camera (1929), 4 May 2017
  • "The madness of collecting: the sanity of pamphlets", 9 May 2017

Exhibitions at Senate House Library

Radical Voices ran from 16 January to 19 May 2017. The Library runs exhibition and engagement seasons throughout the year. Find out more on our exhibitions and events pages.

Senate House Library is located in Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU. See information about how to find us.