For Intellectual Liberty: Correspondence and Papers

Scope and Content

[A1] Committee minutes, 1935-40.

[A2] Scrapbook and newscuttings, 1936-39, containing letters to newspapers by 'For Intellectual Liberty' members and reports of its activities.

[A3-A5] Circulars to members, draft statements, newspaper letters, and appeals, including the case of Carl von Ossietsky; 'Note on BBC', complaining about right-wing bias, by Rose Macaulay and E.M. Forster; cases of Luis Prestes, Edgar Andr; situation in Spain, and British bias; questionnaire on the formation of a People's Front, and analysis of the replies; plea for Leopoldo Alas; protests at the Japanese bombing in China; telegram to the Prime Minister regarding Mussolini; telegram to Chancellor Schusnigg, Austria; letter to Malcolm Macdonald on Spain; help for refugees, including doctors; Czech crisis; protest at the persecution of Jews in Germany; speech by Margery Fry on Spain, 1939; statements on conscription; University staff plea to include Churchill in the Cabinet; education in wartime; news of refugees in France, 1940; and regulations on the release of refugees from internment.

[A6] Papers of Association of Writers for Intellectual Liberty, 1938-40 (formed 1935, affiliated to 'For Intellectual Liberty', 1936), including minutes, 1939-40; appeals to members, statements of aims, and activities; notes on censorship, Northern Ireland and India; appeal from the Czech Authors' Association; letters from Sir Compton Mackenzie and Hugh Walpole objecting to Russian sympathies, Sylvia Townsend Warner on practical aid for refugee writers, and Helen Waddell on the attitude to war; poem, Listen you by Bert Marshall; and a list of members.

[A7] Correspondence on refugees and internees, 1939-40, including a statement by 'For Intellectual Liberty', January 1940, on refugees in France and lists of Germans interned there; the cases of Adolf Hoffmeister and Julius Klanfer; and correspondence on Spanish and Austrian refugees in a camp at Gurs, letters from Nancy Cunard, Hermann Langbein, L. Cambillard, and Charles Cadier, British Committee for Refugees from Spain.

[A8] File of Birmingham Branch, 1937-39, with correspondence of Margaret Gardiner and Austin Duncan-Jones on support, publicity and signatures for petitions; and Kate Blackie, critical 'Comment' on the BBC broadcast The Siege: an incident of the Spanish Civil War.

[A10] Publications, 1936-40, bulletins, leaflets, etc., including Gaetano Salvemini, Carlo and Nello Rosselli, a memoir, F.I.L., 1937; and Michael Foot, Why not lock up General de Gaulle?.

[A11] Index of members: name, residence and profession.

B. Papers from J.D. Bernal

[B1] Committee correspondence, 1936-39, including (1-8) Aldous Huxley; (9-16) Leonard Woolf; (17-23) R.H. Tawney; (24-25) H. Levy; (26-29) Wilfrid Roberts; (30-36) C.P. Snow; (37) Frank Roscoe; (38-44) E.M. Forster; (46-48) Henry Moore; (57-62) Ronald Kidd; (75-81) Philip Noel-Baker; (86-89) R.H.S. Crossman; (90-99) Eleanor F. Rathbone and Dudley Collard; (104-105) Alan Bush; (106) Sir Richard A. Gregory; (107-110) Patrick M.S. Blackett; (111-118) Margery Fry; and (119-129) E.R. Dodds.

[B2] Circulars, accounts, notices of meetings, agendas, minutes, proposed members of the committee, and accounts, 1936-40.

[B3] Documents, published brochures introducing 'For Intellectual Liberty', lists of 'For Intellectual Liberty' activities, 1936-39; circulars, including a letter to Baldwin, 9 May 1936, about Mussolini; statement on Ethiopia and the League of Nations, June 1936; plea for action in response to 'the so-called peace plan', September 1938; and a 'Memorandum on 'For Intellectual Liberty' policy', undated.

Administrative / Biographical History

The association 'For Intellectual Liberty', formed February 1936, was a rallying point for intellectual workers in active defence of peace, liberty and culture. Among its concerns were Fascism, anti-Semitism, the League of Nations, and the Spanish Civil War. 'For Intellectual Liberty' lapsed in 1940.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Margaret Gardiner, Hon. Secretary, presented the papers in 1996; further files were transferred from the papers of J.D. Bernal (MS.Add.8287).


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue. A catalogue is also available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.