Digital Library

As part of our ongoing efforts to make the materials held at the Sparrows’ Nest easily accessible, we have been digitising materials, for instance documents held in our Public Archive of anarchist pamphlets, papers, zines, etc. We have also digitised parts of the Solidarity Federation’s archive and fully digitised Ron’s Collection, the personal archives of one of the SolFed’s founding members containing many unique items including international correspondence of the SolFed's foreunner, the Syndicalist Workers Federation.

All these documents were scanned or photographed and converted to pdf files. Please note that despite the total of ~2,000 digitised documents, amounting to 80GB of awesome stuff, best our guesstimate is that this is only about five percent of the materials held at the Nest.

We are always happy for users' suggestions which documents to digitise next, if you have any proposals, please contact us.

Please note that many of our documents feature OCR, and we are constantly going back to OCR-less documents to reupload them with OCR. However, despite the use of nifty software, this is a length process. So if you are using an-OCR less document, do not despair, please just contact us and we will prioritise its reupload.

Content and trigger warning

Most materials in our collections offer awesome and inspiring content, but you may encounter historical materials which are not anarchist/left-libertarian. Furthermore some materials contain triggering content which is racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, nationalistic, anti-Semitic, ableist, ageist, or otherwise not representative of the movement. Also be aware that some of the materials contain sexually explicit content and/or depictions and descriptions of physical and psychological abuse, sexual violence, etc. If you wish to access information but do not want to take the risk of being exposed to potentially triggering and/or traumatising content, please do not hesitate to get in touch, we will be happy to assist you as far as we are able.

This time we are putting our spotlight on some of the many independent local newspapers, bulletins, etc. that were produced in Nottingham over the last five decades.

In 1984, the organisation then known as the Anarchist Communist Federation began to publish a magazine entitled Virus, which ran for 13 issues before being continued as Organise! from 1989.

The first series of Anarchy, published between 1961 and 1970 by London based Freedom Press and edited by Colin Ward, is a popular, fascinating and beautiful highlight in our collections.

With the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots coming up soon, we decided to put our spotlight on some of the many documents in our collections documenting LGBTQ+ history in Nottingham. The majority of the titles listed below, especially the earlier ones, focus on and were primarily produced by gay cisgender men. Therefore this spotlight remains a work in progress and we will add more titles in the near future to make a wider range of materials accessible (see for instance the Queer Bulletin’s website for a list of other titles).

To access the catalogue and to search for digitised documents, please use our Search function.

If you have any questions, spotted an error or want to add additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you have any materials you would like to donate or to be held in the library or archive, please contact us!

Donations to help us build the collections are very welcome. Please visit our Donations page.

Some of our greatest treasures arrived looking like random heaps of smelly paper. So if you have access to potentially interesting materials, be it pamphlets, bulletines, zines, papers, letters, etc. please DO NOT throw them out, but let us know!