The Radical Literature Collection is a research collection established in 1994 with the purchase of material from Mr. Hugh Anderson. It is located in the Special Collections Room, P402 at the Footscray Park Campus Library.

History of the Radical Literature Collection

Mr Anderson has, over a lifetime, collected material related to radical groups in Australia. The collection includes:

  • over 900 pamphlets including many from overseas
  • books
  • journals.

The majority of the material relates to the Communist Party of Australia (CPA). It includes items either written or published on behalf of the CPA or about it by supporters and opponents.

Publications from other bodies such as the Australia Council for Civil Liberties and the 'Coalition Against Poverty and Unemployment' (CAPU), are also represented. The collection was extended in 1998 by a donation of left-wing and student newspapers from Mr. Ken Mansell.

What's in the collection

The collection has historical and social relevance and is a useful research collection to those studying social issues related to radical groups in Australia. The pamphlets in the collection come from a variety of sources with the earliest dating back to 1898 and the most recent being 1986. The majority fall between 1930 and 1970. Most provide interesting histories of groups or summaries of issues of public concern, others are pure propaganda. Many have interesting covers such as cartoons of politicians, or stirring scenes of united workers.

As well as pamphlets there are several hundred books and twenty-three journal titles mainly representing communist, Marxist or Trotskyist views. There is also a small vertical file of folders containing one-off journal issues, newspaper clippings on subjects such as the Petrov affair, the basic wage and cost of living during the war years, atomic testing, and also minutes of meetings and speeches, course notes for the Communist Party study groups and some of the more fragile bulletins and journals.

Access to the collection

The Radical literature collection is a research collection. The items can't be borrowed, but may be viewed on appointment.

In the library catalogue, these items have the prefix FTS RADICAL COLL. before the shelf number.

To access material in the collection, please email our Special Collections librarians. You will receive an emailed response within 24 hours (Mon-Fri) and a suitable time will be arranged.

You can view the items in the Special Collections reading room on level 4 of the Footscray Park campus library.

Email: [email protected].