Radical Community Archive Collections

Please access the drop-down menu above the photograph to go to the online contents of each of the collections.

Over the years I have collected a number of items, mostly documents, from various radical campaigns. Also at times various individuals and their families have kindly asked for help in preserving their work and materials, which is an honour.

  • Where possible I have scanned the original documents and used OCR (optical character recognition) software to make them more accessible and searchable. This is sometimes called the Accessible PDF format, but note that OCR software I have is usually only about 80% accurate. An Accessible PDF that is 100% accurate is usually derived from a born digital document, or is based on an analogue document that has been retyped. So I’m interested in any details about new and accurate OCR software. I’m also interested in any details on photographic image processing algorithms and community archives.

Depending on family wishes, these collections of documents and other artefacts are usually listed (brief details) or catalogued (full details) and offered to a local secure archive for retention and future access. These local archives include The Working Class Movement Library, The People’s History Museum, and mostly the Disabled People’s Archive, DPA. The DPA is the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People working with Archives+, and Archives+ is run by Manchester City Council and based in the Central Library in St Peters Square.

The largest number of these collections are with the DPA. The Working Class Movement Library already holds the collection of the National League of the Blind and Disabled, a trade union, so it made sense for the 1920s photographs to be added to their collection. The People’s History Museum were chosen for storage and preservation security reasons in the early 2000s before Archives+ and later the DPA had become fully established.

The list of community archive collections that I am working on varies month by month, so the best way to start is probably use the drop-down menu for an alphabetic list of community groups where I have been able to put a proportion of their materials online.

Two that deserve a particular mention are below, with Kevin’s materials relating to nearly a dozen different organisations. (Please note they were originally called “archives”, but as we’ve learnt more about the processes, I would now call them “collections” which fit into a wider archive.)

  1. Kevin Hyett Archive and
  2. Ian Stanton archive catalogue (beta version 2016)


If you are interested in the archiving process you might like to read the following page, and feedback is welcomed.

Disabled people’s organisations and archives (draft)  

Recent addition to this site:

2019-07-05 Independent Living – Pamela La Fane