Posted by: alison-cullingford | April 17, 2015

Farewell – for now!

You’ve found the PaxCat Project blog, brought to you by Special Collections staff at the University of Bradford between 2009 and 2010.  It documents the discoveries of Project Archivist Helen Roberts as she catalogued the Commonweal archives: records of extraordinary people and groups campaigning for peace.  You’ll also find stories about the activities of our colleagues in Peace Studies, our friends at the Peace Museum and more.

We’re not currently adding new stories to this blog, as we decided to keep it as a record of Helen’s work which did so much to bring our archives to new audiences.  We are still working to catalogue and make available all our peace-related collections and will share news, articles and events on our main Special Collections blog.

James, Peace now. Cover


100 Objects

This week, archives telling the story of a benefit concert supporting the nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.

Fax of sample poster for the Free Vanunu benefit Hackney Empire 3 October 1993 (archive reference Cwl VAN 4/1) Fax of sample poster for the Free Vanunu benefit Hackney Empire 3 October 1993 (archive reference Cwl VAN 4/1)

The concert, on 3 October 1993 at the Hackney Empire, was billed as “an evening of readings, music and comedy”.  It was organised by the British Campaign to Free Vanunu.  Mordechai Vanunu had been abducted in 1986 by Israeli government agents after speaking to the Sunday Times about Israel’s nuclear weapons programme and had later been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for treason and espionage.   The British Campaign was founded by his brother Meir with a small group of activists soon after, establishing the Mordechai Vanunu Trust in 1991.

With limited resources, the group sought to raise awareness of Vanunu’s plight and of nuclear issues in the Middle East via lobbying, picketing and vigils, using…

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Posted by: alison-cullingford | February 27, 2014

Why War? Conference registration is open

You can now register for the University of Bradford Peace Studies 40th Anniversary Conference: Why War?  1-3 May 2014. This will be a major international conference offering all kinds of opportunities to discuss key themes, meet people and engage with the story of Peace Studies in Bradford.

Attendance is free! (There is a charge if you want to come to the Conference Dinner).

Find out more about the programme, practical arrangements and how to register: Conference web site.

Posted by: alison-cullingford | January 23, 2014

Annual Commonweal Lecture: Michael Randle on civil resistance

The 2014 Commonweal Lecture

Michael Randle on Civil Resistance: the rise and rise of nonviolent action

Thursday 13 March, 6pm, University of Bradford.

Free admission!

Michael Randle - Civil Resistance: the rise and rise of...

Book in advance with eventbrite.

Michael Randle has been active in the peace movement since the early 1950s and has a unique insight into the rise of civil resistance.  One of the organizers of the first Aldermaston March in 1958, he was Chair of the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War, 1958-61, and Secretary of the Committee of 100, 1960-61, which organized a series of civil disobedience demonstrations against nuclear war.  A graduate of University College London – and of Wormwood Scrubs, Pentonville, Lewes and other prisons – he was awarded a PhD in Peace Studies at Bradford University, 1994, served as secretary of the Bradford University-based Alternative Defence Commission, 1980-88, and held a number of research and lecturing posts in Peace Studies. His books include Civil Resistance Fontana 1994, and he was co-compiler with April Carter and Howard Clark of the bibliography People Power & Protest since 1945 (Housmans 2006) and its updated follow-up, Guide to Civil Resistance (Merlin, 2013).

Posted by: alison-cullingford | December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Special Collections is closed for the Christmas break from 23 December-3 January inclusive.   We’d like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy 2014 and look forward to sharing more stories and events with you in the coming year.

Season’s greetings from Special Collections: our 2013 e-card.

Posted by: alison-cullingford | December 18, 2013

Medical Association for the Prevention of War: catalogue now online

I told the story of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW)  in a blog post a few weeks ago.  Now I’m delighted to announce that a new catalogue of our MAPW Archive is available, in Word or PDF form, from the Archive’s own webpage.  The Archive a really interesting and rich collection spanning forty years, with lots of links to our other collections, not to mention the work of colleagues past and present in Peace Studies.  We’re looking forward to working with the archivists at the Wellcome Library* next year, when we will be exploring the great potential of medical peace archives for researchers in many disciplines.  Watch this space …
* Wellcome holds the archives of MCANW and Medact: MAPW merged with the former to create the latter!

Peace Studies at the University of Bradford is celebrating its 40th anniversary.  Among the events planned, a major international conference on 1-3 May 2014.  It will explore the intellectual agenda for peace studies now and over the next century.  See the call for papers and find out more here.

100 Objects

On 20 January 1951, at the height of the Korean War, seven distinguished doctors published a letter in the Lancet expressing concern about the arms race, the impact of arms spending on healthcare (“each pound spent on bombs means … more dead babies now”) and the apathetic drift towards another world war.

The signatories (Richard Doll, Alfred Esterman, Ian Gilliland, Horace Joules, Duncan Leys,  Lionel Penrose, and Martin Pollock) argued that doctors could use their unique expertise and authority to work towards disarmament:

“We appeal to all our fellow doctors who think there may yet be an alternative to merely providing treatment for casualties ; we ask them to join us, in the spirit of our chosen profession of healing, in doing all in their power to halt preparation for war …”

The letter provoked many responses, to the Lancet and privately.  Not all agreed with its perspective.  Doll et…

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Posted by: alison-cullingford | November 18, 2013

PaxCat 2 and the Peace Pamphlets

I’m delighted to share with you the first product of PaxCat 2: the peace pamphlet collection.

PaxCat 2 will make available the remaining Commonweal archives and historic material which were not covered by the first phase of the PaxCat project.  These are fantastic resources which intertwine with the catalogued archives – so many connections of people, places and organisations.  Find out more about PaxCat 2 here.

Poison gas. Cover 133

So far we have catalogued about 2000 of the peace-related pamphlets, from the First World War to the present day.  We’ve used an Excel spreadsheet for the cataloguing, which offers the speed, flexibility and accessibility we need to get these resources to the public without external funding.  They are often very striking visually, as this Poison Gas illustration shows.  More images and lots of information about the pamphlets in no. 89 of the 100 Objects series.

Posted by: alison-cullingford | November 11, 2013

Arts and Issues: new exhibition in Gallery II Nov 2013-Jan 2014

Lots of connections between the Arts and Issues programme and Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. I will write more about this when I have time!

Special Collections - University of Bradford

Cohesion, Challenge and Critique

The “Arts and Issues” fellows at Bradford University, 1966-1982

14 November 2013-16 January 2014

A new exhibition in Gallery II at the University of Bradford brings together as never before the unique resources of special collections and the permanent art collection.  Arts Curator Amy Charlesworth, with help from Special Collections, explores the growth and significance of the most fascinating and distinctive facets of the University’s story: the Arts and Issues programme.

The programme encourages students to look beyond the subjects of their studies, links the University to local communities, and enriches the life of the University through visual and other artforms; the exhibition considers the early years of the programme to examine how and whether these aims are achieved.

For further information, see the Gallery II website.

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