Belize: Political Parties Material

Scope and Content

Manifestos, conference reports, posters, and speeches issued by the National Independence Party (British Honduras), the People's United Party (Belize) and the United Democratic Party (Belize).

Administrative / Biographical History

Previously known as British Honduras, Belize finally became independent in 1981, the process having been delayed more by the unresolved sovereignty dispute with Guatemala (which did not recognise the new state until 1992) than by instransigence on the behalf of London. The colony had enjoyed universal suffrage from 1954 and was granted full internal self-government from 1964, with George Price's People's United Party (PUP) and its anti-colonial stance initially dominating the domestic political scene. From the formation of the economically more liberal United Democratic Party (UDP) in 1973 a genuine two-party system emerged, with ethnic difference threatening more recently to replace political ideology as the main distinction between the two. The views of the PUP and UDP, as well as those of more minor parties, on the developments described above are represented in the materials held here.


Alphabetically by party, and then in rough chronological order.

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies


The Political Archives Project was a 2.5 year project to catalogue political archive material held in the libraries of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas to the University and present it as a cohesive virtual collection. The project was successfully completed in July 2005. Descriptions of all the documents may be found by searching the library catalogue at, or via the Political Archives website:

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The ICS political parties collection was begun in 1960-1961, with special emphasis being placed on primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos. Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant. More recently material has been collected by means of downloading documents from the websites of the major parties.


Further accruals are expected, some in electronic form.

Related Material

See also Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.

Geographical Names