Spanish Civil War and International Brigades

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1008 EVT/SPAIN
  • Dates of Creation
      1933 - 2018
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      Spanish English
  • Physical Description
      21 boxes

Scope and Content

Papers and pamphlets relating to the Spanish Civil War including:

  • International Brigades
  • History of the Spanish Civil War
  • International Brigadiers including Maurice Levene, Ralph Cantor, Sam Wild, Syd Booth, Bernard McKenna and George Brown
  • Greater Manchester Trade Union Spanish Solidarity Committee
  • Aid and relief organisations including Foodships for Spain, medical aid, Basque Children, Aid for Spain Committee and Spanish Relief Committee
  • Bulletins and newsletters
  • Papers relating to memorials and anniversaries
  • Volunteer for liberty bulletins
  • Pamphlets
  • Photographs, maps and tapes
  • Spanish and other foreign language texts

Administrative / Biographical History

The Spanish Civil War began in July 1936 when army officers attempted to overthrow the democratic Republican Government in Spain. They were only partly successful, the country was split in half and a bitter civil war ensued. Thousands of foreign volunteers (International Brigades), including many from Britain and Ireland, came to the aid of the Republic.

The Nationalist forces, led by General Franco, were supported with troops and arms by fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. In the first months of 1939, Nationalist forces overwhelmed the remaining Republican forces, finally taking Madrid, and the war ended. In the aftermath tens of thousands of Republicans were executed or imprisoned.

Franco remained in power until his death in 1975. Within a few years Spain had transformed itself into a modern democracy and surviving Republican exiles returned. A Socialist government was elected again in 1982.

The International Brigades represented part of an extensive Aid For Spain Movement in Britain, which was responsible for sending medical equipment and staff (a number of women served with the Brigade as nursing staff) and food and clothing to the Spanish people. Organisations such as the National Joint Committee For Spanish Relief were set up in response to the suffering of the Spanish people in defiance of the British Government's policy of Non-Intervention


Series 1: Background material
Series 2: International Brigades
Series 3: International Brigaders
Series 4: Organisations
Series 5: Memorials and Anniversaries
Series 6: Post war Spain
Series 7: Non-English language materials

Access Information

Open for consultation.

If you wish to visit the library you need to make an appointment. The Working Class Movement Library is open Tuesday-Friday 10.00am-5.00pm and every 1st Saturday of the month 10.00am-4.00pm.

To book, telephone: 0161 736 3601 or email: .

Other Finding Aids

The full catalogue is available online on the Working Class Movement Library's Web Site -

Archivist's Note

These records were organised and listed by Bernard Barry. Description compiled by Kate Hart, Oct 2008 and updated by Jane Taylor, May 2020

Related Material

The library also holds collections of photographs and posters related to the Spanish Civil War

Geographical Names