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Commonweal Collection‌

About the Commonweal Collection

Nuclear disarmament poster. The Commonweal Collection is an independent specialist library concerned with issues relating to nonviolent social change. It contains over 11,000 books and pamphlets, 150 current journals and a variety of videos and educational materials on peace and disarmament, environmentalism and the green movement, nonviolent philosophy and practice, human rights, development and regional issues, anti-racism, identity issues, social and economic alternatives, creative education, spiritual experience and analysis of world problems. In addition, Commonweal seeks to work with schools, campaign and community groups and individuals on projects linked to nonviolent social change and to network with those sharing some or all of our core beliefs.

Enquiries regarding archival material collected by Commonweal, from the peace and other movements, should go to Special Collections at the University of Bradford.

Commonweal news

The Commonweal Lecture

The commonweal lecture takes place in spring each year. Previous lectures include:

  • 2015 Ernest Rodker "I vote for radical action".
  • 2014 Michael Randle "Civil resistance: the rise and rise of nonviolent action".
  • 2013 Sharyn Lock "Doing the impossible: how 44 ordinary people reached Gaza through the sea blockade".
  • 2012 Professor Paul Rogers "Suggesting the possible: responding to a world going wrong".

To be added to a mailing list for future events please email

How to join Commonweal

The Commonweal Collection is free and open to the public. 

To become a member you will need to bring Proof of address (such as a utility bill or driving licence) or your Biometric Residence Permit.

Please bring the above to the J. B. Priestley Library Welcome Desk (tel. 01274 233301) on any weekday during staffed hours. We will create for you a Photo ID membership card, which entitles you to borrow 8 Commonweal Collection books (most are 4-week loans; some more popular items are 1-week loans). Journals are for use on the premises only.

Non-Members are welcome to visit the Collection, but will be required to sign in at J. B. Priestley Library Welcome Desk in accordance with University policy. If you cannot visit Bradford, but wish to use Commonweal materials, please order them using your public Library or home institution's Inter-Library Loans scheme. Please ask at your local library for more information.

Please Note: Commonweal borrowers are not entitled to use J. B. Priestley Library materials.

Location and opening times

Commonweal is located in the J. B. Priestley Library - see the campus map. The opening hours for the collection are the same as for the J. B. Priestley Library.

Contact details

Commonweal is run by volunteers, including Trustees of the Collection. To contact us, or to enquire about volunteering, please use these details:

Commonweal Collection
c/o J. B. Priestley Library
University of Bradford
West Yorkshire

Telephone: 01274 233404
Fax: 01274 233398