News and events

News and events from The Sparrows' Nest.

Hello everyone and welcome to another round up of news on the Sparrows’ Nest.

As spring moved into summer we are happy to offer you yet more additions to our collections and another 1,000 pages or so of fresh materials for the Digital Library! We have also made a lot of progress with a number of key collections. Following a systematic inventory of our Freedom collection, we have done the same with our issues of Black Flag (thanks again for recent donations that filled a number of gaps!). We have also been able to work through more donated materials, cataloguing and/or digitising them.

Black Flag newspaper was founded by Albert Meltzer, Stuart Christie and others in 1970, incorporating the Bulletin of the Anarchist Black Cross (the Bulletin was later revived as an independent publication). It has been kept going most recently by a very determined Iain McKay (also the author of the Anarchist FAQ) with an editorial collective and contributors including the Anarchist Federation. As such it remains one of the longest running and most significant anarchist publications in Britain. Can you help us complete the collection? Those of you who have helped already thank you very much! Last updated 29th May 2017 with 6 previously missing issues.

A partial digital archive of Black Flag issues can be found on LibCom, other partially scanned issues can be found in our Digital Library (they are tricky to digitise because of their size and shape, but we will get there). Watch this space for an immanent scan of our current collection of Vol 1 (known only as Bulletin of the ABC) & Vol 2  in the period 1969-1973.

We recently had a request from the London Anarchist Bookfair to solve a mystery concerning when the first such event took place and where it was held. Long-term memories varied and the Bookfair collective were presented with various accounts, so they sought hard evidence from our newly acquired Freedom archive.

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.