The Development of Black Led Archives in London

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis works to recreate a framework within the archival field in
which to view the development of three Black-led archives in London: the Black
Cultural Archives based in Brixton, the George Padmore Institute in Finsbury
Park and the Huntley Collection based at the London Metropolitan Archives. In
this work I bring together the history and intellectual contribution of the Pan-
African movement and Black archival thought to discuss how the key concepts
of experiences and narratives have underpinned the collection of Black archival
material. In this work I discuss how this Black archival canon and thought has
been employed by the founders of the archives in the face of shifting racism
and government policies. This thesis traces the shifts in how racism has been
articulated, to examine how the development of the archives, whilst
underpinned by modes of Pan-Africanism have been shaped by changing
narratives of Britishness, Government policy and available funding that
ultimately led to the formation of the archives as they stand today.
Date of AwardApr 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • UCL University College London
SupervisorAndrew Flinn (Supervisor), Caroline Bressey (Supervisor) & Jenny Bunn (Supervisor)

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