The Rawnsley British Union of Fascists Collection.

Scope and Content

From the Shadows of Exile (photocopy typescript of an unpublished autobiography by Nellie Driver, covering her membership of the BUF and her internment), The Mill (photocopy typescript of an unpublished novel, based on her experiences) and taped interviews with former BUF members, with typed transcripts.

Administrative / Biographical History

Recollections of members of the British Union of Fascists, collected by Stuart Rawnsley while researching for his Ph.D. thesis, Fascism and Fascists in Britain in the 1930s. The majority of this collection reflects the experiences of Nellie Driver (1914-1981), from Nelson, Lancashire. She and her mother joined the BUF in 1935, when the movement was seeking to increase its membership among unemployed textile workers in the North West. She played a key role as organiser for her district and took part in leafletting, writing to newspapers and other campaigning activities. Nellie Driver was imprisoned under Defence Regulation 18B first at Holloway and then on the Isle of Man, during which time she moved away from BUF ideas and returned to religion.

Access Information

Available to researchers, by appointment. Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation. There are currently no restrictions on access to this collection.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the J.B. Priestley Library by Dr. Rawnsley.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished interim handlist.

Archivist's Note

Described by John Brooker using ISAD(G) 2, May 2001. Minor edits by Alison Cullingford, May 2013.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. The copyright holders for this material are currently unknown. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Location of Originals

Nellie Driver items in section 1 are photocopies of originals held by Local Studies at Nelson Library.


Stuart Rawnsley, Fascism and Fascists in Britain in the 1930s: a case study of Fascism in the North of England in a period of economic and political change : Ph.D. thesis (Bradford, 1982).