Archive of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB)

This record is held by Labour History Archive and Study Centre (People's History Museum/University of Central Lancashire)

Details of Archive of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB)
Title: Archive of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB)
Reference: CP

The records contain the minutes of the Communist Party Executive Committee 1943 - 91, the Political Bureau 1924 -25, the Political Committee 1946 - 91, the Political Sub-Committee 1954 - 91 and the Economic Committee 1946 - 87 There are also extensive files on the International Department 1945 -91, national congresses 1920 - 91, industrial files 1950 - 91, and organisation files 1944 - 91. There are also files on some district and local parties, the People's Press Printing Society (Daily Worker and Morning Star) 1945 - 90, the Young Communist League 1922 - 87 and Women's Department papers 1933 - 91


There are also the papers of prominent Communist individuals Harry Pollitt 1905 - 59, Rajani Palme Dutt 1908 - 71, Willie Gallacher 1920 - 81, John Gollan 1931 - 77, Wal Hannington 1934 - 66, Ivor Montagu 1924 - 83, Bert Ramelson 1945 - 91, James Klugmann 1928 - 76, Kay Beauchamp 1961 - 79, Ben Bradley 1929 - 69, Dona Torr, which includes some Tom Mann material and Jack Woddis 1937 - 77


The archives consist of the papers generated by the central party organisation as well as those created or belonging to associated / organisations.


Central / Executive Committee minutes CP/CENT/EC


Central Circulars CP/CENT/CIRC


Executive Committee Commissions CP/CENT/COMM


National Cultural Committee CP/CENT/CULT


Economic Committee CP/CENT/ECON


Party Educational Materials CP/CENT/ED


Industrial Department CP/CENT/IND


International Department CP/CENT/INT


Organisation Department CP/CENT/ORG


Peace Materials CP/CENT/PEA


Press and Publicity CP/CENT/PUB


Women's Department CP/CENT/WOM


Youth Organisations CP/CENT/YOUTH


Miscellaneous Sub-Committees CP/CENT/CTTE


Campaigns and Events CP/CENT/EVTS


Speakers' notes CP/CENT/SPN


Statements CP/CENT/STAT


Subject Files CP/CENT/SUBJ


Political Bureau / Committee CP/CENT/PC/1-17


Sub-Committee CP/CENT/PC/18-19


National Congresses CP/CENT/CONG


Central Correspondence CP/CENT/SEC


Communist International / CPGB papers CP/CENT/CI


Picture Library CP/CENT/PL


Communist Party: Individual papers CP/IND


Kay Beauchamp papers CP/IND/KAYB


Ben Bradley papers CP/IND/BRAD


Rajani Palme Dutt papers CP/IND/DUTT


Hymie Fagan papers CP/IND/FAG


William Gallacher papers CP/IND/GALL


John Gollan papers CP/IND/GOLL


Wal Hannington papers CP/IND/HANN


Allen Hutt papers CP/IND/HUTT


Margot Kettle papers CP/IND/KETT


James Klugmann papers CP/IND/KLUG


George Matthews papers CP/IND/MATH


Ivor Montagu papers CP/IND/MONT


JT and Molly Murphy papers CP/INDMURP


Harry Pollitt papers CP/IND/POLL


Bert Ramelson papers CP/IND/RAM


Claude Tayler papers CP/IND/TAY


Dona Torr papers CP/IND/TORR


William Wainwright papers CP/IND/WAIN


Jack Woddis papers CP/IND/WOD


Miscellaneous Individuals CP/IND/MISC


CPGB History materials CP/HIST


CPGB Local Papers CP/LOC


Hampshire and Dorset District CP/LOC/HD


Lewisham Borough CP/LOC/LEW


Miscellaneous local and district CP/LOC/MISC


North West District CP/LOC/NW


Scottish District CP/LOC/SCOT


South Midlands District CP/LOC/SMID


Yorkshire District CP/LOC/YORK


ETU Ballot Rigging Trial CP/MISC/ETU


Miscellaneous non-party organisations CP/ORG/MISC


Daily Worker / Morning Star and PPPS CP/PPPS


Young Communist League CP/YCL

Date: 1812-1995
Held by: Labour History Archive and Study Centre (People's History Museum/University of Central Lancashire), not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Extent: 56 Sub & sub-sub fonds.
Custodial history:

The Communist Party of Great Britain Archives were collected at the Communist Party Library in Hackney They date from 1943. Most administrative and political records before that date were sent to Moscow in 1938, where they were deposited at the Marx - Lenin Institute now the Russian Centre for Modern History. Until 1986 access was restricted, Subsequently they were sorted and listed by Francis King . On the demise of the Communist Party itself in 1991 they were placed under the control of the Communist Party Archives Trust

Creator Names:
  • Communist Party of Great Britain, 1920-1991
  • CPGB, 1920-1991
Immediate Source Of Acquisition:
  • In 1994 they were deposited on permanent loan with the National Museum of Labour History. In 2000 they were put on permanent loan with the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, whilst still in the National Museum of Labour History.

Conditions of access:

The CPGB files are being copied to microfilm and to facilitate this, some may be off-site. Readers are strongly advised to contact the archivist to check availability prior to visiting the archive.

Related Material:
  • The LHASC has the archives of the London District Communist Party, which contains files, amongst others on district congresses 1926 - 88, miscellaneous advisory committees 1950 - 88, membership 1948 - 88, race relations 1950 - 83 and party branches 1944 - 81


    The LHASC also holds runs of a number of Communist journals, including Labour Monthly, Marxism Today, Communist Review and the Jewish Clarion


    The archives also contain microfilm of Comintern material relating to the CPGB in the 1920's & 30's and by Party in the 1980's, which was obtained by James Klugmann on a visit to Moscow in 1957.

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