Digital Archives Initiative

International Labour and Radical History Pamphlet Collection

The International Labour and Radical History Pamphlet Collection

The International Labour and Radical History Pamphlet Collection in the Queen Elizabeth II Library consists of more than 2200 pamphlets, representing a broad spectrum of leftist opinion that includes communists of various stripes, socialists, liberal reformers, trade unionists, civil libertarians and antiwar activists.

Published for the most part between the years 1920 and 1970 (the collection also includes a number of Fabian Society publications that predate this period), the majority of the pamphlets are English-language publications from the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Canada and China. Among the topics and issues dealt with are socialist theory and practice, critiques of capitalism, war and peace, labour and the role of unions, international communism, the Vietnam war, racism and Third World liberation. Authors include Daniel DeLeon, Earl Browder, William Z Foster, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Georgi Dimitrov, James Cannon, Howard Fast, Anna Louise Strong, Paul Robeson, Harry Pollitt, Jacques Duclos, Vyacheslav Molotov, Sergei Eisenstein, as well as Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and Mao.

Canadian authors include Stewart Smith, Stanley Ryerson, William Kashtan, Dorise Nielsen, Jacob Penner, Sam Carr and Leslie Morris. However, the most significant of the Canadian titles are more than 60 works written by Tim Buck, representing a significant proportion of the writings (many of them scarce, uncommon or rare) of the longtime General Secretary of the Communist Party of Canada.

Because of their physical condition, most of the pamphlets are housed in the Rare Books area of the Library, although there are some titles in the main stacks. The International Labour and Radical History Pamphlet Collection have been organized in a separate, searchable database.

In 2011, staff of Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative began the process of digitizing the collection. Scanned copies of the pamphlets will be uploaded in batches in the coming months. It is estimated that the full collection will be online by late 2012.


Memorial University - Archives and Special Collections