Papers of the National Liberal Club

Scope and Content

The papers consist of a wide variety of documents covering many aspects of local, national and international Liberal politics. These include campaigns, committees, clubs and charitable organisations administered by the Liberal party or of interest to the Liberal party. This collection also includes the papers of individuals relating to the Liberal cause. The administrative papers of the National Liberal Club and its subcommittees are also included. Some noteworthy elements are:

  • Minute books of the Central Liberal Association, 1860-1914.
  • Papers of the Executive Committee of the Liberal Council, 1927-1940.
  • Papers of the Liberal Social Council, 1904-1965.
  • Papers of the National League of Young Liberals, 1957-1975.
  • Proceedings of the Council of the National Liberal Federation, 1879-1939.
  • Whip's Office Letters, 1877-1938.
  • Papers of Derek Mirfin concerning the Union of University Liberal Societies, 1949-1963.
  • Letters to Alfred Austin, the Poet Laureate, 1881-1910.
  • Letters, printed ephemera and autobiographical notes on Sir Geoffrey Le Mesurier Mander, MP for Wolverhampton East and High Sheriff of Staffordshire, 1922-1957.
  • Manuscript papers relating to Francis Schnadhorst and the organisation of the Liberal Party, 1881-1962.
  • Letters to Charles Geake, head of the Liberal Publication Department, 1892-1918.
  • Correspondence relating to Miss Emily Trevillion and Lady Violet Bonham-Carter, 1917-1968.
  • Minutes of meetings and membership list of the Hampshire Whig Club, 1793-1798.
  • Executive Committee Report of the Home Counties Liberal Federation, 1908, 1924-1945.
  • Walthamstow Central Liberal and Radical Association letters, notes and ephemera, 1935-1946.
  • Papers of the Union of Liberal Students, 1964-1968.

Administrative / Biographical History

These papers formed part of the Gladstone Library of the National Liberal Club. When the Library was purchased it was found to contain a large amount of archival material, which is described here. The papers form a useful resource concerning the history of the Liberal Party and Liberalism from the early nineteenth century to the present day.

Access Information

Accessible to all bona fide readers.

Acquisition Information

These papers were purchased from the National Liberal Club in 1977.


Compiled by Martin Hall, Assistant Archivist, University of Bristol Special Collections.

Other Finding Aids

Typescript catalogue available in University of Bristol Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission must be obtained from University of Bristol Special Collections.

Related Material

The following items are related to the National Liberal Club archive, but were either purchased later or kindly donated by individuals:

  • Newspaper cuttings of the history of the Liberal Party and Liberal Democrats, 1958-1992 - DM 1648.
  • Notes dictated by Sir Archibald Henry Macdonald Sinclair concerning the "Sinclair Movement" and the outbreak of World War II, given after a series of interviews with prominent Liberals and the Prime Minister, 1939 - DM 785.
  • Minutes of the 8:30 Club, 1936-1939, 1947 - DM 1825.
  • Minute books, ledgers and account books of the Western Counties Liberal Federation, 1922-1967 - DM 1172.
  • Papers pertaining to Norwich Central Liberal Association, 1928-1933 - DM 1201.
  • Album of correspondence of John Pickup Hartley and the Accrington Liberal Association, 1838-1925 - DM 1134.