Hello everyone to another round up of news on the Sparrows’ Nest, giving you an idea of what we have been getting up to.
First of all an apology, we are the first to admit and regret that it has been quite quiet recently at the Nest. The collective is small and whilst some had to focus on an (regrettably inescapable) onslaught of wage labour, others were stuck in an very extensive new research project with our friends from the People’s Histreh (Nottingham Radical History Group – this promises to be interesting indeed – watch this space!).
However we have of course not been neglecting the Nest, even though we have not been able to invest as many hours as we would have normally liked.
We have as ever carried on cataloguing, hunting for errors and updating databases, collecting and sorting new materials. We received a few very sizeable collections of books (in one case filling up a very large sports bag). Thanks very much to AF comrades for boosting our holdings on Feminist works which have influenced anarchism, the struggles of people of colour and Black workers’ organisation, anarchism in China, and issues of the influential paper Workers’ Playtime (see e.g. our latest version of the catalogue).
We were approached by and have been more than happy to supply the organisers of a conference at the University of Nottingham URL with plenty of materials on their subject: Utopia Against the World: Spatial Resistance, Spatial Alternatives. That was a great day, thanks again for the invitation.
We would like to say thank you again for the most substantial acquisition of documents in 2014, a most generous donation of books and papers/magazines given to us by the sister and friends of the late Ray Gosling (1939-2013). They are doing wonderful work to ensure that the memory of Ray and his work will be kept alive, with a large collection of his writings and documents related to his many campaigns and struggles becoming part of the archival collections held at Nottingham Trent University (see this article showing Ray's archive in 2005). We are very thankful that they contacted us and donated many of Ray’s books and papers to the Nest, also including a picture signed for Ray by anarchist artist Arthur Moyse (1914-2003). Arthur created countless works of art, often for Freedom Press publications.
We are still processing Ray’s collection, but it is – maybe quite consistent with his life and personality – a most interesting as well as eclectic bunch of materials. It includes e.g. civil defence materials from the mid-1950s (Home Office: Radioactive Fall-out - Provisional Scheme of Public Control) or an apparently almost complete set of a socialist news round up from Nottingham in the mid-1960s, which none of us knew existed, providing an interesting mirror of its time as well as its editors’ politics: The Week – A News Analysis for Socialists. The latter set of documents will definitely sooner or later find its place in the Digital Library, though we hope it is forgiven if we prioritise the anti-authoritarian local materials ;)
We also continued with various overdue maintenance projects (e.g. keeping the flora in check in a way that keeps the fauna happy). Again many thanks to all donors who made this possible.
Normal opening hours (every Tuesday 11am-2pm and/or appointment) carry on of course until further notice.