Spirit of Revolt annual report 2013-2014.
Spirit of Revolt is an archive collection of contemporary and historical artefacts relating to working class lives, libertarian socialist and anarchist histories and achievements. It delivers a comprehensive Online Catalogue listed at international standard with itemised images, an Exhibition Programme interpreting the archive and a dedicated Scanning Project.
Welcome to another year in the life of Spirit of Revolt (SoR). In this Annual Report you will find details of great commitment, achievement and steady growth. SoR has developed only through volunteer activists whose hard work and enthusiasm is reflected in the achievements outlined, as scanners, fundraisers, curators, film-makers, and much more. Because of dozens of committed volunteers and their wide range of skills and talents we have reached this second AGM in good shape financially and about to embark on a new phase of collections. We achieve way beyond our financial means due to the essential investment people freely make of their time.
This year we have almost finalised the Deposit Agreement and thank the Archives Department at the Mitchell, especially Dr. Irene O’Brien and Elaine McGillivray for pushing SoR’s changes to their Archive Standard Agreement wherever possible in order to reflect SoR’s wishes securing Left, Libertarian Socialist and Anarchist materials.
We now have 26 collections, 25 are stored in Mitchell SoR room, the exception being James Kelman. There are three completed deposits ready for storage in the Mitchell. Six other deposits are ready to be collected/ developed. The Here and Now journal in the KM collection is almost fully uploaded to the website. This is the only collection of this important theoretical magazine online. Themes we cover to date in the SoR Archive are:
Scottish events of the Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign
Dr. S. Yuill – Pollok Free State -Film collection Anti M77 Campaign
Free University Network – Early set up and minutes/events
Edward Hunter – music/lyrics/poetry/activism/parliamentarianism includes rare education pamphlet on The Rights of Childhood League, 1918 Aukland/Red Clydeside
Allan Burnett – poetry, prison letters
Charlie Baird – Radical Education and Barrowfield Free School
Walter Morrison – Committee 100 and activism
MV Collection – Claimants Right’s Office, CRO,
K M – Gorbal’s dampness campaign /Glasgow People’s Press/ Counter Information/ Freddie Anderson Poetry/ Here and Now/ The Word (Guy Aldred) many journal runs; feminist , gay, international, etc
JW- Scottish Hunt Sab material
McLellan and Gallagher – rare Guy Aldred pamphlets and feminist and IWW
J. Cooper – Miners Strike and community activism
Stuart Christie – correspondence between mother and Walter Morrison on prison sentence
JTO’Neill – Punk, Flux, Festival of Plagiarism, Performance Art, feminism
Self Determination and Power Event, Govan, -Noam Chomsky
correspondence, Estonia activists correspondence, JD Young/ George Davie debate
Clydeside Action on Asbestos – early tribunal representation, women carers related deaths, development of campaign, court documents
Workers City – early campaign materials, research
Kurdistan Peace Train – coverage of Glasgow delegation, executions and refugee support
First and Second Radical Book Fare of Black and Third World Books – events data and London Links
In addition to the 25 catalogues, we have thousands of images now uploaded to the website with hotlinks to the catalogue entries linked to the Mitchell archive storage with the scanning group producing more, weekly. There are several rare small books scanned to the Read of the Month and the Cartoons box now has a collection of ‘Kritikos’ anti-war images from around 1916.
With over 2000 items the Digital James Kelman came with a deadline and although very rushed but is now completed and fully scanned, about to be uploaded to the website. It includes historical rarity – The Scottish Free Press, Vol 1 No.1 May 1933 and Edward Hunter items. Our first digital online collection, James Kelman items are being stored at National Library of Scotland who have suggested we create links with them.
Hits are average 26 page views per day (at peak 48) and still of global interest. Online requests for specific access to materials has begun with one request for Class War and another for Here and Now.
Mutual need for premises will see the SoR room relocated by Archives Department to a very much needed bigger space in the next couple of months. Our aim for this new space is to expand the Scanning facilities in order to speed up and streamline the whole collection on to the website. We hope also to start cataloguing the book and pamphlets collection making it more accessible. Work almost stopped in the current room as our collections reached full capacity.
We secured funds for 6 months of archivist fees, attracted 13 applicants and are currently shortlisting it. We will work on MV as well as new material yet to be collected.
‘Glasgow Supports the Miners’, 30th Anniversary Promotion, 13th Note, King Street , Glasgow- a small exhibition displaying T-SoR/ 3/ 12, John Cooper material. 20.02.14- 19.03.14 to be put online.
Conference Presentation of SoR Archive set-up presented at Manchester University by Hartwig. Many thanks to him for generous time investment and to additional donations for funding this presentation trip.
Radical Presses Clydeside- 100 Years of Autonomous Protest Literature, Mitchell Library Foyer, Jan, 2013 – now on website
CCA screening SOR film – With special thanks to Bob for huge effort and time commitment while he made our First short promotional film completed and screened at CCA as part of Electron Club Event, followed by discussion and pop-up archive
– Pop Up archive has attended several venues and meetings including this busy night at the Scotia and Electron Club, Book Launch –AK Press Anarchism a FAQ by Iain McKay
Many thanks to everyone over this year who has attended meetings and scanning or events to keep the archive so well stocked with energy and great ideas. Welcome to new activists Eric and Bob and in scanning Laura. Many thanks to Paul for minutes and Stasia for banking.
We made contact with Sparrows Nest, Nottingham, the only other local anarchist archive we know of UK, and have discussed sharing material so that both groups are not scanning the same stuff, journals etc.
Anarchist Bookfare – We were represented at the London event and participated in the forums on Chomsky, Radical Education, WW1 and on Archives and others.
Aye Write –
we contacted this event to try to participate but I think we are too late.
Request to participate by Victoria and Albert Museum, London, exhibition on ‘Objects of Disobedience’ next year.
Website feedback very positive from Caledonia University Archive. They returned Anarchist deposits previously made there including bound copies of The Word – Guy Aldred part of the David McLellan deposit (still to be listed) and by John Couzin and other rare materials.
National Library of Scotland – suggested links through Kelman Deposit
Successful fundraising this year has enabled us to employ an archivist part time. Three large individual donations mean we can extend the scanning hardware to enable faster processing of deposits and will also fund the move to a bigger room.
Next Year’s Plan
To move into the new SoR room
Extend the Scanning aspects, to complete more scanned items online (funding already in place for this)
Complete the scanning to Storage link of the Archive ie a completed Deposit.
Contract an archivist for 6 months pro rata, (funding now in place)
Collect, Catalogue and upload next batch of deposits.
Increase Oral Testimony gathering
Increase and underpin our outreach work and visibility with suggested Anti-War / CO exhibit around July.
Produce a pamphlet.
Fundraise by events.
Present SoR at Conference in England in June.
Present SoR at Glasgow University Dumfries Campus Event in March.
Spirit of Revolt aims to:
Advance the education of the general public by increasing knowledge and understanding of libertarian socialist and anarchist working class history.
Provide information on a range of issues around items in the archive
Enable an international and local audience to access the information, resources and support they need from SoR
Break down barriers to libertarian socialist and anarchist history so that this history is no longer hidden.
Develop skills and knowledge from history to engender individual and community self-confidence becoming equipped to pass on their experience to benefit their families and broader communities.
Take a lead role in redressing the neglect of anarchist historical and cultural contributions to society by providing a catalyst for change.
In meeting our aims, Sirit of Revolt:
Actively collects new deposits/ materials so that they are accessible to the broadest range of users.
Encourages the involvement of as many volunteers as possible in developing the Archive, its related resources and outreach and in order to extend documentation, collection, creation and use of materials.
Provides an accessible information resource and archive relevant to all researchers of working class history, culture and achievements for use by individuals and groups from all areas of the community.
Will create Scotland’s first dedicated Libertarian socialist and Anarchist archive employing an Archivist when possible and building a dedicated space within the Glasgow City Archives making the deposits secure and fully accessible to the general public.