Richardson, Al (1941-2003), HIggins, Jim (1930-2002)

Scope and Content

Papers of Al Richardson and Jim Higgins, [1884-2003], comprising: Spartacists League / Workers Vanguard pamphlets and papers, 1964-2001; International Socialists minutes, circulars, discussion papers, 1960s-1970s; Workers Power bulletins, circa 1975-1992; Socialist Review minutes, 1952-6; Workers Socialist League papers, c. 1977-1983; Socialist Labour League minutes, circulars, pamphlets, 1960s; International Marxist Group papers, 1963-1967; Trotskyite journals and pamphlets from the United States, United Kingdom, Chile, India, Sri Lanka, France, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Italy,and other countries, 1930s-2003; Workers Fight, 1987-2003; Post Office Engineering Union minutes, journals, correspondence, 1960s-1970s; drafts of autobiography of Harry McShane and interviews with him, c1970s.

Administrative / Biographical History

Al Richardson born Barnsley, 1941; after University, he lectured at Exeter University and then became a history teacher in London. Richardson's politics were Trotskyite: he was a member of the Socialist Labour League, the International Marxist Group (IMG) and he was also involved in the Institute of Workers' Control. Richardson was expelled from the IMG at the end of the 1960s and co-founded the Chartist Group, which aimed to encourage revolutionary tendencies amongst the left of the Labour Party. Richardson worked with Sam Bornstein on histories of British Trotskyism and, in so doing, amassed a large archive. Two books were published in 1986 on the subject as a result of this research: Against the Stream , and War and the International . Al Richardson was also a member of the board of Socialist Platform Limited, which organised the deposit of this archive.
Jim Higgins was born in Harrow in 1930; joined the Young Communist League at the age of 14 and left school two years later; joined the Post Office as a telecommunications engineer and became active in the Post Office Engineering Union (POEU) and the Communist Party; left the latter in 1956 after the invasion of Hungary by the Soviet Union. Higgins joined the Socialist Labour League and then, at the end of the 1950s, the Socialist Review Group. By the 1960s, Higgins was the secretary of the International Socialists (IS). By the early 1970s, Higgins gave up his work as a POEU branch secretary to become the full-time national secretary of the IS. He left the Socialist Workers Party (the former IS) in 1977 and became a journalist. His political memoir, More years for the Locust , was published in 1997.


The boxes have been left in the order they were deposited in. The deposit comprises archives left by Al Richardson and Jim Higgins.

Access Information

Open for research although individual files may be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact archivist in anticipation of arranging a research trip as boxes need to be ordered at least 24 hours in advance.

Acquisition Information

Socialist Platform, 2004

Other Finding Aids

A box list has been compiled for this deposit.

Archivist's Note

Separated Material

The Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick also holds Trotskyist papers such as the Tarbuck papers (MSS.75), which include archives of the Socialist Review Group and Revolutionary Communist Party. The records of the International Socialism Group (MSS.84), and of its members Richard Hyman (MSS.84), Steve Jefferys (MSS.244), Richard Kuper (MSS.250), Alistair Mutch (MSS.284), the Colin Barker papers (MSS.152) and Stirling Smith (MSS.205) have also been deposited at the Centre.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies may be made subject to the discretion of the Archivist and as long as copying orders conform to copyright law.

Appraisal Information

No material has been destroyed.


Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

Senate House Library also holds papers of Alan Clinton (MS1114).