Irish Left Archive: On This Day

We’ve added a small addition to the Irish Left Archive website in the form of pulling out some interesting events relevant to the Left and the materials in the collection for specific dates. You’ll see these on the homepage when there are relevant ones to show, and they link through to a list of events from that date, along with documents published and subject headings – i.e. elections, referendums etc.

The date is probably often the least important detail, but it’s a way to draw out some interesting articles and bits and pieces that might be otherwise missed in the materials.

You won’t see it very often at the moment! There are 366 days, and not so many entries… but we’ll add to it over time, and if anyone has suggestions for events to add that have some relevant material on the website, let us know.

Today (18th July), for example, marks the date of a Garda baton-charge against hunger-strike demonstrators outside the British Embassy in 1981, in which several were injured; and of the start of the Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strike in the Henry Street shop in 1984.

Expanded Socialist Worker Archive

The online archive of Socialist Worker has been expanded again to bring it almost to the contemporary. It now ranges from the first issue of The Worker in 1972 up to Socialist Worker issue 400 in 2017.

It includes 375 issues of the paper, with fairly complete coverage from the early 1990s onwards. It’s a great resource (and well done to the patient person who did all that scanning…!)

You can find them on SWOnline on Issuu.

Archive of Socialist Worker

This is an excellent archive of Socialist Worker from the SWP.

As noted:

A significant number of scanned newspapers from the 1993 to 1999 period have been uploaded, almost all the Socialist Workers published at that time. There’s also a smaller number of pre-1993 papers now online too.

What is notable is how direct and visually well constructed the publication has been across the years.

A very useful addition to online archives of left political material available.

Some of the documents added to the Left Archive in 2021

From the ILA twitter account a list of documents absent from the Archive as well as organisations and campaigns now represented.

New Left Archive Collection: The British Left on Ireland

A photograph of a Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) rally in Trafalgar Square calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Ireland, 5th September, 1971.

We’ve added a new collection on the Irish Left Archive site to bring together the documents from the British Left on Ireland. Over the years the archive has added documents from a wide range of British Left organisations and this collection groups them within broad Left trends: British Labour Party (and related groups), Trotskyist groups, Communist Party of Great Britain (and related groups), other communist organisations, Maoists and Socialist Party of Great Britain.

You can view the collection on the Irish Left Archive website: The British Left on Ireland.

The Irish Left Archive Podcast

Irish Left Archive Podcast

We’ve started a podcast as part of the Irish Left Archive project.

We’ll be talking to activists, writers, historians, politicians and others involved in the Left about the experience of being involved in building and participating in left groups and campaigns, producing political periodicals and documents, and the history and development of progressive politics in Ireland.

The first two episodes are live now. You can listen to them on the website, or find them on Spotify. (It should be on Apple/Itunes soon too – if it doesn’t come up in your podcast app yet, you can always add the podcast feed link directly).

In episode one we discuss the left archive project and how it has developed since it started in 2007.

In episode two, we talk to Laurence Cox about left activism and the publications in the archive that he has been involved in – An Caorthann, Ireland from Below, and Interface.

There will be more in the coming weeks with a range of guests, so please give them a listen, subscribe if you use a podcast app, and feel free to give us feedback!

Irish Left Archive Subject Headings

We’ve recently added subject headings into the Irish Left Archive website to try and make it easier to find documents on a particular topic. They’re still a bit limited, but we plan to build them up over time.

You can view a list of subjects in the index, grouped by different types – elections, referendums, events or areas of policy.

On individual items in the archive, subjects are listed near the top, along with the organisation, year of publication, and so on. You’ll also see a ‘Suggest a Subject’ button, which you can use to suggest a subject heading – existing or new – that should be included on a particular document.

Subject headings on a document page

Hopefully this will make the archive materials easier to find. As ever, feedback, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

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