FISHMAN, William J. (Bill) (1921-2014)

Scope and Content

Papers of William J. Fishman (b 1921), including: photographs of East End walks by Fishman, locations and street scenes in the East End of London, 1907-1990s; papers, press cuttings and correspondence regarding the Battle of Cable Street, 19 Princelet Street and East End history, 1967-2007.

Administrative / Biographical History

William J. Fishman is a historian and author of several books on topics ranging from revolutionary advocacy in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to the history of the East End of London. The son of an immigrant tailor, he spent his formative years in the East End of London. At 15, he was an eyewitness to the Battle of Cable Street, and recalls. He was educated at the Central Foundation Grammar School for Boys, Wandsworth Teachers Training College and the London School of Economics. He served in the British army in the Second World War, completing his service in the Far East. After the war he worked as a teacher and was appointed principal of Tower Hamlets College of Further Education. In 1965 he was elected to a studentship at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1967 he was Visiting Professor of History at Columbia University, New York.

He was visiting professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison from 1969–70 and was awarded an Acton Society Fellowship. In 1972 he was appointed Barnet Shine Senior Research Fellow in Labour Studies with special reference to Jews at Queen Mary, University of London. He was made an honorary fellow of Queen Mary in 1999 and was later Visiting Professor to the Centre for the Study of Migration.


The William (Bill) Fishman papers are divided into the following two sections:

  • FISHMAN/1: Papers
  • FISHMAN/2: Photographs

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited with Bishopsgate Institute by David Rosenberg, 9 January 2012.

Other Finding Aids

Adlib catalogue and copy of handlist available in the researcher's area

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Grace Biggins

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying and digital photography (without flash) is permitted for research purposes on completion of the Library's Copyright Declaration form and with respect to current UK copyright law.