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Gone Fishing… the Irish Left Archive takes a month off… August 4, 2008

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Housekeeping, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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Okay, not exactly gone, but going soon. After a hectic year – our first post was this – it’s definitely time for a break.

The Irish Left Archive will from this take a break of about five weeks – not least to give an opportunity for some scanning to be done of materials for it. General posts to the CLR will continue. A chance to recharge and reemerge bright eyed and bushy tailed on the far side of the summer.

So far the Left Archive has gathered together previously unseen (on the web) material from Official and Provisional Sinn Féin, Militant, the Labour Party, the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the Workers’ Party, Democratic Left, the Socialist Workers’ Movement, the Communist Party of Ireland, the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), The Socialist Party (1970s), the British and Irish Communist Organisation and many others. Each week since August 2007 we’ve posted up a new document. We’re hoping to streamline access to the Archive over the next number of months with clearer links and tags.

Can I ask that anyone who has any materials for the Archive contact me at worldbystormATeircom.net. Any materials posted out will be posted back. If necessary I am happy to reimburse postage.

Currently we’re lacking Green Party and Sinn Féin materials (for example while I have a near-complete set of United Irishman from 1968 to 1972 – which I intend to post in full over the next while – I have no similar PSF material from the same period). The Socialist Workers’ Movement/SWM is under-represented. We have no anarchist material at all, a considerable deficit… so, if you have anything at all from leaflets, posters to pamphlets to party positions just send them through and I’ll see that we here at the CLR get them posted up. As always any commentary on the materials submitted can be by the person who donates them and is always welcome. In fact if anyone wants to add retrospective commentaries on previous material that would be good as well.

Anyhow, we return in five weeks or so with a guest post on some Green Party material from the late 1980s and news of another very interesting Irish political archive that has recently been established.

One last thing. A word of thanks. One of the real pleasures in blogging is the response from people just browsing and in this the Left Archive has been great. The engagement by people from varying political homes has been heartening and educational. Sure, there have been one or two disagreements but broadly speaking it has been extremely positive. It is that engagement that fleshes out the documents, that breathes life into them. The anecdotes and personal experience of people who read them, used them and often sold them (!) when they were issued are crucial to developing a sense of their meaning and utility. It’s not just a dry exercise in presenting political arcana, but a means of unlocking what it is like to be part of the ‘Left’ in all its forms on this island and perhaps giving a few clues as to how to move forward. That’s a human and personal story and its one the CLR would like to reflect more on. So quite apart from the archive, but added to it, should anyone have any thoughts that they’ve put down on paper as to their experiences (and be critical, certainly – but not knocking if at all possible) of being in any of the formations we cover, or those we haven’t so far, that would be great. Anonymity guaranteed (if you want it).

And to those who read the archive material but don’t post comments, and there’s a lot of you out there, go on. Views and opinions are both welcome and essential.

Comments»

1. Starkadder - August 4, 2008

Thanks for setting up the Left Archive, WBS. I have some
ephemera (photos of Irish leftists,excepts from
magazines, etc.) but no complete left
magazines suitable for the LA at home. I’ll
try to rectify this if I get a chance.

On another topic, the CDL’s Left Archive has been referenced
at least twice on Politics.ie threads.

The news of the new Irish Political Archive sounds
promising….

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2. WorldbyStorm - August 4, 2008

Starkadder, I’d be interested in extending the concept of the archive to encompass exactly those sort of materials. For example, there are many individuals on the left over the years I never met so I have no idea what they looked like. Then there are things like party conferences, etc… and articles – I think – are broadly speaking valid (particularly if they’re in National Archives already!)…

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3. Garibaldy - August 4, 2008

Skiving fuckers 🙂

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4. Godot - August 4, 2008

The Workers Solidarity Movement have some pdfs of pre-WSM anarchist groups up on their site by the Belfast Anarchist Collective, Anarchist Workers Alliance and Dublin Anarchist Collective. They can be found at http://www.wsm.ie/public_newswire/archivedtext if you scroll down abit.

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5. WorldbyStorm - August 4, 2008

Ah Garibaldy, we’re Stakhanovites around here really. Just sleepy sleepy Stakhanovites… 🙂

Godot, I’d love to use some of them and I’ll put them in as a link, but is there anyone out there who could write up a commentary on any of these that they were involved in? That way I can link to that archive…

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6. Godot - August 4, 2008

I’ll get in touch with some of the oldies and see if they’re interested.

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7. WorldbyStorm - August 5, 2008

That’d be great Godot… very much appreciated. Again, I don’t want to put stuff up that others have unless they’re happy about it, but I’m happy to link to other materials if there are original commentaries here.

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8. Mick Hall - August 7, 2008

This archive is a great idea and some really interesting stuff has been published here, I know I promised to get up in the loft and I have not forgotten. Thanks for your hard work.

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9. WorldbyStorm - August 7, 2008

That’d be great. I’d really value any commentary you can write too Mick.

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10. deadmanonleave - August 8, 2008

Just a very occasional contributor, but very avid reader here…..keep up the good work, it’s been great to read the discussion that various have attracted, not just here, but elsewhere.

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11. WorldbyStorm - August 8, 2008

Thanks dmol. Much appreciated. There’s more… much much more in the pipeline… 🙂

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