This collection contains material gathered together by Scaffardi from several sources in the process of writing her autobiography, Fire Under the Carpet (Lawrence & Wishart, 1986); it includes papers of Ronald Kidd, research papers of Brian Cox and records of the National Council for Civil Liberties, as well as a range of publications. An artificial arrangement has been imposed on the collection, and there is a large amount of overlap between the sections.
National Council for Civil Liberties
This material complements, and in some instances duplicates, the main Liberty archive [U DCL]. There is a bound volume of early annual reports, dating from 1934 to 1957 [U DSF/1/1]; this is significant because there do not appear to be any annual reports before 1938 in the main archive [U DCL/73A]. The early minutes of the NCCL have been lost [a microfilm of minutes dating from 1944 onwards is the earliest survival at U DCL/102] and hence the few bundles in this collection which contain Executive Committee minutes from the 1930s and early 1940s, and some correspondence of Ronald Kidd as General Secretary, are valuable in piecing together the work of Kidd and other founder members [U DSF/1/7-9]. There are also examples of draft articles and speeches by Kidd and Crowther-Smith in these bundles, as well as material about Kidd having to give up the role of General Secretary and the question of who was to replace Henry Nevinson as President [related papers on these last two topics can also be found at U DSF/2/6]. The NCCL pamphlets in the collection span 1935 to 1995, but are concentrated in the 1930s and 1940s [U DSF/1/17-62]. A large proportion can also be found in the main Liberty archive, but this set has been kept together to illustrate the interests of Kidd and Crowther-Smith.
There is very little surviving material on Ronald Kidd in the main Liberty archive and therefore, although these papers are far from extensive, they still comprise a useful source. There are two files relating to Kidd's tour of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria in 1938 [U DSF/2/2-3] and these contain a variety of material, ranging from letters of introduction and correspondence with those involved in the movement in defence of human rights and against anti-semitism in Czechoslovakia, to Kidd's itinerary and notes made during his journey. There is also a set of photographs of Jasina and other places in Sub Carpathian Russia and Slovakia, sent by Dr Maximilián Ryánek in Brno, photographs of anti-semitic graffiti [possibly in London] and contemporary travel brochures and maps of the region. The only surviving example of a personal letter from Kidd to Crowther-Smith dates from this tour and was sent from Bratislava [see file U DSF/2/6]. After his return to England, Kidd travelled the country holding public meetings on Czechoslovakia and this is documented by correspondence, publicity leaflets and cuttings of reports in the press [U DSF/2/3].
Kidd's work for the NCCL in the early 1940s focussed on areas such as editing and writing articles for the journal Civil Liberty, and writing pamphlets. Examples of this can be found at U DSF/2/4-5, including drafts of his pamphlet on The fight for a free press (1942) [there is a printed copy at U DSF/1/34]. There are four surviving pocket diaries, detailing the meetings and appointments which Kidd attended in 1934, 1935, 1936 and 1938 [U DSF/2/9], along with his passport, issued in 1936, and a number of undated photographs of Kidd [U DSF/2/10-11]. Unusual items include some photographs of political posters on display in wartime France, a publicity leaflet for the Soho Literary Group, organised by Kidd, and the annotated script of a play by Lennox Robinson, 'The lost leader', which Kidd must either have directed or played a part in [U DSF/2/14, 13, 12].
There is a small amount of material relating personally to Sylvia Scaffardi and her work, namely evidence submitted to Lord Justice Scott's Committee on Land Utilisation for Rural Areas in the early 1940s, which she gathered in her role as a civil servant in the Planning Division of the Ministry of Works [U DSF/3/1], and papers about her childhood in Brazil and her Brazilian grandparents [U DSF/3/3].
Barry Cox was commissioned by the NCCL in the late 1960s to write a history of the organisation and this was published in 1975 as Civil liberties in Britain (Penguin). In the course of his research, he undertook a large number of interviews with founder members and contemporary figures in the NCCL, and the interviews were transcribed from tape by Sylvia Scaffardi. The annotated transcripts are included in this collection and include interviews with people such as Elizabeth Acland Allen, DN Pritt, Kingsley Martin, Claud Cockburn, Sylvia Scaffardi herself, Martin Ennals and Tony Smythe [U DSF/4/2-4].
This set of pamphlets and periodicals has been kept together within the collection (rather than being transferred to library stock), again as an illustration of the interests of Kidd and Scaffardi. There are a number of significant items in the fields of politics and literature, such as the August 1914 edition of the journal English Review containing part 5 of a serialised story by HG Wells, 'The world set free: a story of mankind' [U DSF/5/2]; a typescript on civil liberties in 1918 by Monica Ewer of the first National Council for Civil Liberties (founded in 1915 as the National Council Against Conscription) [U DSF/5/3]; two anti-semitic publications in German dating from 1937 and 1938, the second published by the National Socialist German Workers [Nazi] Party [U DSF/5/33 & 44]; two photographic compilations about the Spanish Civil War, issued by the Spanish Embassy in London in 1937 and 1938 [U DSF/5/34-35]; and the classic 1949 pamphlet, The time of the toad, by Dalton Trumbo, about the anti-Communist blacklist of Hollywood writers [U DSF/5/72]. The vast majority of these publications date from the 1930s and 1940s.