Our Archives and Collections: Society and Politics

Given our politically-engaged beginnings, it is not surprising that we hold a considerable collection of archives related to political and social history.

They include the diaries of suffragettes, the archive of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), papers relating to the Watergate scandal, the British election archive, the library of Lloyd-George, letters of TE Lawrence, as well as an extensive collection of contemporary caricatures and cartoons.

Below is an overview of some of our holdings.

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Archive Description
History of Dissent, Controversy and Reform We have long had a focus on dissent, controversy and the reforms that often follow. Our special collections include the personal papers of suffragette sisters Annie and Jessie Kenney, the papers from the Windscale Enquiry and the Nolan Committee, those relating to the Third London Airport controversy, and the archive of the Charter 88 movement.
Political History At Essex we have a strong focus on electoral and party political analysis, which has resulted in a significant collection of related archives, including the Crewe Elections Archive, the archives of the Social Democratic Party (including papers collected by Lord Rodgers of Quarrybank), and recordings of Levene/Sky TV political interviews. We also hold the papers of MP John Edward Bernard Hill at UEA, and books from the library of Lloyd George at Kent.
Local History We are home to a significant holding of local history archives, including the library of the Essex Society for Archaeology & History, the Ronald A Baldwin Collection relating to the history of Kent between the 18-20th centuries, the Russell Collection of 18th and 19th century rural life, and the archive of the Rowhedge Ironworks Company.
International Politics Our universities have always been ‘outward looking, accepting of change and welcoming of external influences.‘ To complement our regional and national collections, we also hold international archives, including the Hermione Harris Nicaraguan Collection relating to the Sandinista government, Richard E Neustadt Collection of papers focussing on US politics, and the Ellis East European Elections Collection.