What is 56a Archive?
It’s an open-access, almost sorted-out reading and research library. We archive radical magazines, pamphlets, books, posters and leaflets. We hope that people will come by to read it or to use it to research radical writing (towards action!)
Our largest collections within the archive are centered on:
• Anarchism, Situationist Ideas, Left Communism and Autonomy
• Squatting (particularly London since 1980’s)
• Resistance to Gentrification (particularly London since 1980’s)
• Radical education and pedagogy
• UK zine culture (1980’s to now)
• the anti-capitalist movement (from 1990’s to 2000’s)
• Feminism (1980’s to 1990’s)
• queer struggles (2000’s)
• black self-defence campaigns (1980’s)
• reclaim the streets (1990’s)
• anti-roads & environmental struggles in uk (1990’s)
• the battle against the poll tax (1988 – 1993)
• UK radical history (1389 to present day)
Why is 56a Archive?
We have been archiving material since 1991. The archive now contains an estimated 50,000+ items. The collection is mainly from the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s. Special sections within the archive go back further. Alongside regular magazines and pamphlets, have maintained an amazing mass of leaflets and ephemeral papers from different anarchist and social movements. We are not sure if anyone else has a collection of this stuff. We keep all this stuff as a valuable part of the movement’s social history. It functions as a useful educational tool as well.
Who is 56a Archive?
Okay, here’s the nub. It’s a mammoth work-in-progress that really needs dedicated archive volunteers to keep it in some sort of useable order. So far, the work has fallen on one or two people who like archiving. We figure that there must be others out there who like filing, sorting, acquiring etc and who would like to work collectively to keep the archive up-to-date and growing. If this sounds like you, and preferably you live in London, then come down and see the archive and talk to us. Or mail us at the 56a Infoshop email address.
Help us at 56a Archive
Doing a zine, anarchist mag, pamphlet? We need donations of your published efforts. In fact, we rely on them as we don’t have much money to subscribe or buy stuff for the collection. All we can promise is that after your publication has done it’s month as a ‘Just In’ item, it will be lovingly archived and then be available to anyone who comes looking for it. We appreciate all donations. If you have a collection of stuff under your bed that you don’t know what to do with, give it to us. •
We are particularly interested in having more stuff from the following subjects:
• Black community organising and black struggles
• Housing struggles from 60’s to 90’s (renters or squatters)
• Feminist newspapers & magazines & pamphlets from 70’s to now
If you can’t part with it, we can arrange photocopying and return the stuff to you. Cool!
Networking at 56a Archive
We are keen to start working with other radical archives in the world. We will probably begin to approach other archives later in the year. We will also begin a UK list of archives on this page. Get in touch if you work in something like this.
Duplicates at 56a Archive
We have loads of duplicate mags and newsletters and papers. We want to give them to other archives. Contact us for details or pop-by and look through the duplicates boxes.