Political Activism Research Day

Political Activism Research Day

Thursday 16th November, 13:30-16:00

Durning Lawrence Room, Senate House Library


Many archive and special collections at Senate House Library chart the history of left-wing, alternative and radical political movements in Britain and beyond. This research day will provide an opportunity to explore and interrogate these resources. Of particular interest are the personal papers of Trotskyist activists. Diverse aspects of the history and development of the working class movement and trade unionism throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries can be studied through these collections, which in some cases include both archival and rare printed material. Gender activism can also be explored through periodicals and pamphlets held at the Library.

This session will be led by a team of specialist staff from Senate House Library. It will consist of an overview of this subject area, followed by case studies outlining current or recent research based on the collections. There will also be an opportunity to see a sample of original items from this area of the collections, and to talk to specialist library and academic staff about potential research topics the collections can support.


This research day is addressed to:

  • 3rd year undergraduates looking for MRes topics
  • Masters students seeking PhD projects
  • PhD students looking for ECR projects
  • Academic staff looking for large-scale projects for research council funding
  • Commercial digitisation partners


13:30 – 14:00     Tea, coffee and registration (Durning Lawrence Library)


14:00 – 14:05     Welcome and introduction


14:05 – 14:20     Maria Castrillo (Head of Special Collections & Engagement, SHL) and Richard Espley (Head of Modern Collections, SHL): Collections overview


14.20 – 15:05     Case Studies


Richard Temple (Archivist, SHL): Trotskyist archives

Mura Ghosh (Research Librarian for Psychology, SHL): Gender activism periodicals and pamphlets

Jordan Landes (Research Librarian for History, SHL): Demos in Senate House Library Collections

15:05 – 15:40     Viewing of collections


15:40 – 16:00     Plenary discussion and next steps


16:00                  Close

Event details

  • 16 November 2017 13:30
  • Various Speakers
  • Free, but with limited spaces
  • Senate House Library Event


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