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Special Collections on Peace, Politics and Social Change


This is our largest subject area and may be our best known internationally.  Bradford itself has long been seen as a radical city, its rapid development in the 19th century driving pressure for improvements to society.  The University was thus a natural home for a new chair in Peace Studies in 1973.  The department thrives to this day and in its turn attracted a unique independent library which provides resources on nonviolent social change: Commonweal.  Our extensive peace-related collections came to us through these organisations and their networks of links in academia and activist groups.

Our collections span the 20th century, with greatest strength probably the late 1950s and early 1960s material relating to the use of nonviolence in anti-nuclear campaigning. There is also much from 1980s nuclear disarmament, and a great deal concerning the role of the University, city and region in peace campaigns.  Our archives are useful not only for peace studies and modern history but for many other subjects including local history and even design.


Our collections in this area include:


David Hoggett, Commonweal, Gandhi and India

1950s and early 1960s nuclear disarmament movement

1980s and 1990s peace camps

Bradford and Yorkshire groups

Campaigns by professions

Academics and campaigns based at Bradford or other universities

Other groups and campaigns

Other active individuals