Recent Posts

The National Charter Association and its legacy, 180 years on

In July 1840 a convention of twenty-three delegates met at the Griffin Inn, Great Ancoats Street, Manchester. Elected by Chartist bodies from across Britain, their purpose was to put together a plan for reorganising the movement following a year of repression, in which much of their leadership had been imprisoned, transported, or forced into exile. On July 20 the delegates agreed a plan for a permanent organisation of all the Chartist groups across the country within ‘one Society to be Called “The National Charter Association of Great Britain”’. With this they made history: the formation of the first working-class, mass-member political party in the world.

Catching the Activist Archivist Fever

The archive has been portrayed by historians for many years as a ‘magical’ place of neutral enquiry. In fact, it has historically been used in the perpetuation of many abuses by the state and continues to play a role in privileging some narratives above others at the expense of disadvantaged groups within society. Increasingly, a new breed of activist archivists are paying attention to what can be done to correct the imbalances within the archival record.