Runnymede Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The Collection comprises books, pamphlets, journals, newsletters, bulletins, press cuttings and working files. The Trust's original working research files contain correspondence, press releases, reports, journal articles and other documents. Subject areas include immigration, deportation, citizenship and nationality, race and racism, politics and race relations, far-right political groups in Britain and abroad, employment, housing, inner cities, social services, health and the National Health Service, education, policing, crime and racially motivated crime, prisons, ethnic minorities and the legal system, demography and the ethnic population in Britain, migrants and ethnic issues in Europe and the European Community, women from ethnic groups in Britain, the media and ethnic minorities, human rights.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Runnymede Trust was formerly established on 1 August 1968, by Deed of Trust, as an educational charity. It had developed partly as a response to the growth of racist politics, especially those of Enoch Powell, which looked at the time to be turning into a mass movement, and also as an attempt to create an equivalent to the American Anti-Defamation League in Britain. The founding members of the organisation were Jim Rose, Anthony Lester, Philip Mason, Sir Joseph Simpson, Mark Bonham-Carter, Dipak Nandy, Nicholas Deakin and Jock Campbell. The funding for its establishment came from the New World Foundation in New York, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust and the Hilden Trust. Dipak Nandy became the Trust's first Director. Since its inception, the Trust has worked to challenge racial discrimination and promote a successful multi-ethnic Britain by providing the facts of racial discrimination and the techniques for overcoming it, stimulating debate and suggesting strategies in public policy. Its principal function in the early years was to provide briefs, background papers and research data for MPs, civil servants, local government and others concerned with policy. It provided a means of responding swiftly and authoritatively on key issues as media attention to the subject of race relations increased. The Trust's Bulletin was initiated in 1969 and has been published regularly ever since.

In later years, Runnymede published reports designed to interpret government policy to a wider audience at the same time as briefing government on public opinion. Through the 1990s, Runnymede's role shifted from that of providing position or interpretative papers to working more closely with government in an advisory capacity. Over the years, Runnymede has produced key reports such as Colour and Citizenship (1969) an authoritative rebuttal to Enoch Powell's anti-immigration populist stance; A Very Light Sleeper: The Persistence and Dangers of Anti-Semitism (1994), This is where I live - stories and pressures in Brixton (1996), and School Exclusions and the Race Factor (1999). The Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain was established as an independent Runnymede inquiry in 1997 culminating in the publication of The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain: the Parekh Report in October 2000. Runnymede has produced regular bulletins called Race and Immigration: The Runnymede Trust Bulletin, which became The Runnymede Bulletin in 1992. The Runnymede Trust was one of the organisations responsible for the establishment of the UK Race and Europe Network (UKREN) in 1996.

A Board of Trustees decides the policies of the organisation and the Director is responsible for developing strategies.


The books and pamphlets are catalogued and ordered according to the Runnymede's original classification scheme. The journals have been rearranged and listed in alphabetical order. The original cataloguing structure for the research files has been retained which arranges the documents in subject order. Documents are arranged in chronological order within the subject areas. The press cuttings are arranged in subject order according to the organisation's original classification scheme and in chronological order within the subject areas.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

On 26/6/01 the collection was transferred from The Runnymede Trust to Middlesex University.


Compiled by Judy Vaknin in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000: National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Other Finding Aids

Books and pamphlets are in the process of being catalogued on the Middlesex University Library Catalogue. Some of the books and pamphlets are available for searching on-line at A hard copy listing is available for the journals. Hard copy and automated listings are being compiled for the press cuttings and files.

Conditions Governing Use

At the discretion of the archivist. No original material can be reproduced without written permission of the Runnymede Trust.


Accruals expected

Corporate Names