Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:49

Introducing 'Volunteers for Liberty'

The Marx Memorial Library have recently launched our exciting new project 'Volunteers for Liberty: The Archives of the International Brigades'. The project, funded by The National Archives Cataloguing Grants Programme and in partnership with the International Brigade Memorial Trust will ensure that our unique Spanish Collection is preserved and made available to new generations of researchers.  

Photograph of Sam Wild addressing the British Battalion in Spain

A-2 A/46  -  Sam Wild addressing the British Battalion in Spain, c.1938 

The Spanish Collection spans nearly 70 years of material relating to the Spanish Civil War; from letters, diaries and photographs of the men and women who volunteered to assist the Spanish Republic to the papers of the International Brigade Association and other organisations which continued the campaign for a democratic Spanish Government after Franco's victory in 1939. As well as many boxes of correspondence, leaflets, press cuttings and photographs, the collection also includes banners and other artefacts. 

Image of front of International Brigade Membership card

50 GC/7  -  International Brigades membership card of Alan Gilchrist 

Previous visitors will be familiar with the current paper catalogues which include descriptions for a large part of the collection. Thanks to this project we will also be able to make more recent acquisitions, including the personal papers of some members of the International Brigades and the archives of the International Brigade Memorial Trust, available to researchers for the first time.

Image of Spanish Republican propaganda postcard, 1937

A-1 G/72  -  Spanish Republican postcard 'Culture will destroy Facism', 1937 

Last month we started work to repackage and catalogue the entire collection to ensure its safety and accessibility for the future. We look forward to sharing the new catalogue with you in Spring 2018 when it will be available to search through our website. 

In the meantime, keep an eye on this page for updates on our progress and some of the exciting discoveries we've made. 


  • Through original documents and photographs, Read More
  • This book offers an insider's Read More
  • Poster celebrating the pilots of Read More
  • Small pin badge perfect for Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4