THE SPARROWS' NEST - NOTTINGHAM

Library and Archive for Anarchist and Radical History

Welcome to The Sparrows' Nest, Nottingham

Freedom Newspaper Collection at the Nest

The Freedom Newspaper Archive

Freedom newspaper was founded in 1886 by Peter Kropotkin and his circle. It became one of the most important publications internationally. Its earliest editor was Charlotte M. Wilson 1886-1895, who largely financed it also. For a time in the 1930s there were two rival papers published as Freedom. Freedom then ceased as a title in favour of Spain and the World from 1936-1938. The name changed to Revolt, and from 1939 was continued as War Commentary. Freedom resumed in 1945 and was published until 2014, when it sadly folded except for a single issue put out for the London Anarchist Bookfair 2015.

Please see also this article about British Anarchism in the early period.

A partial digital archive of Freedom can be found on LibCom, including the first issue.

The Bishopsgate Institute has an archive of issues and collections relating to the history of the paper.

In recent years Freedom's editors strove to promote a non-sectarian forum and a dynamic heavily influenced by social/class struggle anarchism, and they kept it going during a difficult time for all print media. As such, the Nest was very happy to be invited to take on what remained of the Freedom archive at the Freedom building.

The Freedom collection at the Sparrows’ Nest:

What we have and what we would like to have

The collection we have starts in the 1920s and is only partially intact. If you have any of the issues we are missing, we ask you to please think about possibly donating them, so that the collection can be as complete as possible. We have the correct archiving knowledge and materials to take care of them properly. In terms of volumes before 2005 we would very much like to acquire two copies of each, to further ensure their survival. Unfortunately we can’t collect unless you live near Nottingham, but are of course happy to reimburse P&P. So if they are in fragile condition – as much of what we have already is – and you are able to package them safely, all the better.

You can already access various digitised Freedom issues in our Digital Library, including rare issues from the 1920s, covering for example the General Strike of 1926 and the murdering of Sacco and Vanzetti.

1920s: We are missing Vol. 34, 1928 and Vol. 35, 1929.

1930s: We would dearly love to have copies of Spain and the World and Revolt.

From 1939 to1945Freedom gave way to War Commentary. Much of its contents have been edited into bound volumes which can be found at the Nest, but we would very much like to have originals.

Vol. 1, 1939-40: we are missing issues 1-10 and 12.

Vol. 2, 1940-1: we are missing issues 2-4, 6, 7, 11 & 12.

Vol. 3, 1941-2: we are missing issues 13, 15-17, 21, 23 & 24.

Vol. 4, 1942-3: we are missing issues 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 15 & 21.

Vol. 5, 1943-4: we are missing issue 4.

Vol. 6. 1944-5: we are missing all of these issues.

Vol. 7 1945-6: we are missing issue 9.

Vol. 8, 1947,the name Freedom was revived but the volume numbers continue from War Commentary. We have all issues.

Vol. 9, 1948: we are missing issues 1-19 and 21-4.

Vol. 10, 1949: we are missing issues 1-8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18 & 20.

Vols. 11, 1950 and 12, 1951 are complete.

Vol. 13, 1952: we are missing issue 31.

Vols. 14, 1953 and 15, 1954 are complete.

Vol. 16, 1955: we are missing issue 9.

Vols. 17, 1956 to Vol. 19, 1958 are complete.

Vol. 20, 1959: we are missing issue 2.

Vol. 21, 1960: we are missing issues 32 & 39.

Vol. 22, 1961 plus Bombmakers’ Gyed April Fools’ Day supplement, to Vol. 25, 1964 are complete.

Vol. 26, 1965: we are missing issue 35.

Vol. 27, 1966 and Vol. 28, 1967 are complete.

Vol. 29, 1968 is entirely missing.

Vol. 30, 1969: we are missing issues 2, 19, 27, 29, 32, 33, 37, 38 & 40.

Vol. 31, 1970 is entirely missing.

Vol. 32, 1971 is complete plus Freedom Pamphlets 7 & 3.

Vol. 33, 1972: we are missing issues 17, 25, 30 & 33

Vol. 34, 1973 is complete.

Vol. 35, 1974: we are missing issues 2, 40, 51 & 52.

Vols. 36, 1975 and Vol. 37, 1976 are complete.

Vol. 38, 1977 is entirely missing.

Vols. 39, 1978 to Vol. 46, 1985 are complete.

Vol. 47, 1986: we are missing issue 9.

Vol. 48, 1987 and Vol. 49, 1988 are complete.

Vol. 50, 1989 is complete incl. dummy of next volume.

Vol. 51, 1990 and Vol. 52, 1991 are complete.

Vol. 53, 1992: we are missing issue 8.

Vol. 54, 1993 to Vol. 75, 2014 are complete.

We also have the recent issues:

Freedom News, May 2015 & Freedom, London Bookfair special issue, October 2015.