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1. Information on the workshop 'Political ephemera from the Commonwealth and Latin America', held Monday 4th July 2005 (below)
2. Completion of project and final report
3. New donation of Bolivian material (November 2006)


1. Information on the workshop:

'Political ephemera from the Commonwealth and Latin America'

A one-day academic workshop held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK
Monday 4th July 2005

Organisers: Danny Millum (ICS/ISA), Ian Cooke (ICS) and Sarah Pink (ISA)

Workshop Programme

This workshop was the culmination of a two-year project dedicated to the cataloguing and promotion of the collections of political ephemera held in the libraries of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas. Its aim was to bring together academics, researchers and librarians interested in the holdings both for their value as research collections and because of their nature as ephemera.

Over 13 000 items issued over the last 50 years by political parties, trade unions and pressure groups from over 60 Commonwealth and ex-Commonwealth countries, and another 7 000 Latin American items from the same period from NGOs, international aid organisations, church groups, parties, unions and pressure groups have been catalogued as part of the project. Many of these materials are unique, having been produced for immediate electoral or publicity purposes rather than for posterity. The project has also sought to reactivate the collections, primarily through the downloading of digital materials.

The full programme of the workshop can be found here, along with abstracts of the papers, and in addition full-text PDFs of a selection of the papers are also available. Materials covered in the papers included the 'Brazil Popular Groups Microfilm Collection', 'African Ephemera in the Library of Congress', 'African Political Posters from Basel' and '19th Century Political Ephemera from Hispanic America', in addition to pieces on the DISA digital imaging project, on documenting Latin American civil society and on the value of visual ephemera as a historical source.

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2. Completion of the Project and Final Report

The Political Archives Project officially ended on the 30th September 2005, by which point the main deliverables had been completed and the funding for the post of a full-time Project Officer had come to an end. The final report of the Project can be read here.

However, the intention is to continue to add to the collections from both the Commonwealth and Latin America, and to ensure that this site is kept up to date. Anyone with any interest in the materials described here or the project itself should still contact Danny Millum at or on 020 7664 4884.



3. New donation of Bolivian material

In November 2006 the Latin American Studies Library at ISA received a donation of 11 boxes of Bolivian political ephemera from the Institute Director Professor James Dunkerley. Much of this new material originates from the Partido Obrero Revolucionario (POR), which in the 1940s and 1950s in Bolivia became one of the few Trotskyist parties in history to gain a mass working class following. These include many of the writings of long-time leader Guillermo Lora and are particularly strong for the period of García Meza’s presidency.

All of these new materials have now been added to the ULRLS catalogue, and a full list of them is available here. Other information relating to Bolivian Trotskyism can be found here, and a catalogue of similar holdings is available here.








'Political Ephemera from the Commonwealth and Latin America'