The Fagan Collection of Political Prints and Caricatures, 1653-1911

Scope and Content

The prints, caricatures and photographs in this collection depict a variety of historical events, occasions of social dissent and popular unrest, together with portraits of some of the principal characters involved. The majority of the prints and caricatures date from the early to mid-nineteenth century and deal with the Cato Street Conspiracy (1820), the agitation in favour of the Reform Bill (1832), and the Chartist movement of the 1830s and 1840s. There are also some plans of London as it was in 1450 and 1642-43, as well as an etching of Southwark and London Bridges as they were in 1546. Some of the items are copies of originals. A number are in fragile condition, and many are in frames.

Administrative / Biographical History

Hyman Fagan, after whom the collection is named, was an eminent communist and writer. His works included 'Nine Days that Shook England. An account of the English people's uprising in 1381' (Victor Gollancz: London, 1938); 'England for All' (Fore Publications: London, 1940); 'The English Rising of 1381' (with Rodney Howard Hilton) (Lawrence & Wishart: London, 1950); 'The unsheathed sword: Episodes in English history' (Lawrence and Wishart Ltd., 1958); and 'Nationalisation' (Lawrence and Wishart Ltd., 1960).


Material has been listed in approximate chronological sequence of events referred to, rather than chronology of publication.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

Typescript catalogue, 14 pp

At the National Register of Archives, London:

Old typescript catalogue, 10 pp


Available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

In 1990 Nottingham University Library received by bequest a considerable quantity of communist and socialist literature from the library of the late Mr Hyman Fagan. This collection of prints was part of the bequest, received by the University library at the same time and transferred to the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Geographical Names