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Origins and history

The collection was started in 1977 when State Research was formed by a group of journalists and researchers based in Poland Street. The group published a bimonthly bulletin of the same name on civil liberties and the state in the UK and globally. It ceased publication in 1982.

In 1981 a charity was formed to conduct research and education in the same fields. In 1990 we moved to the Library in Stoke Newington Church Street. Between 1981-1988 material was added from the GLC and the London Strategic Policy Unit. We moved to Resource for London in 2013 and then in May 2017 to MayDay Rooms. While individual researchers used the Library it was never officially open to the public.

What’s different about this resource?

All libraries and archives have a different emphasis and history. Our archive has been gathered over 40 years and holds unique materials from national and local activism in pamphlet format, from Roneo to lithographic publications, plus badges alongside key books ranging from the 1920s onwards and many hard copy EU documents which predate the EU’s digitisation of its records. Our specialism is civil liberties and the state.

Visitors should know that MayDay Rooms itself has a sizeable archive which they may find useful. We work closely with MDR and our archives are complimentary.

What's in the Library and Archive?

It is organised in seven collections:

  • Nearly 800 books and paperbacks – including classic historical sources.
  • Over 2,500 pamphlets (“grey literature”) on political and social struggles and movements.
  • EU documents: over 1,000 hard copy documents and reports from the pre-web era.
  • ABC Case Archive donated by Crispin Aubrey’s family – 70+ files.
  • Special Collection: Currently has 45+ large subject files   which are unique (some of which "dropped off the back of a lorry” g. the BBC TV News discussion files 1977-1979);
  • Journals: complete and partial runs of 60+ publications;
  • Badges: 365+