Marx Memorial Library
|Marx Memorial Library|
|Items collected||Books, journals, newspapers, magazines, prints, drawings and manuscripts|
|Size||60,000+ items (2021)|
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||Open to anyone with a need to use the collections and services|
|Budget||£2 million GBP (2020)|
|Director||Prof David McLellan (president)|
|Official name||Marx Memorial Library|
|Designated||29 September 1972|
|Part of a series on|
the United Kingdom
The Marx Memorial Library in London, United Kingdom is a library, archive, educational, and community outreach charity focused on Marxist and wider socialist bodies of work. England and Wales charity number: 270309.
Its collection comprises over 60,000 books, pamphlets, items, and newspapers on Marxism, socialism, and working class history. It is currently located in a Grade II listed building along Clerkenwell Green.
The Library opened in 1933 at 37a Clerkenwell Green, formerly home to many radical organisations, and base of an important publishing operation.
The Library now also houses "The Printers Collection" consisting of the archives of the printing and papermaking unions of the UK and Ireland. The collection includes union documents, magazines, photographs, badges and memorabilia. The archive was opened in March 2009 by Derek Simpson Joint General Secretary of Unite and Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary of Unite.
The building now occupied by the library was originally built in 1738 to house the Welsh Charity School. It was designed by James Steer, and the construction funded by subscriptions. The school moved out to a new home in Gray's Inn Lane (now Gray's Inn Road) in 1772. The building subsequently became (in part) a public house, the Northumberland Arms; and was put to other commercial uses.
Part of it was occupied from 1872 onwards by the radical London Patriotic Society; and from 1893 (with the financial backing of William Morris) by the Twentieth Century Press Ltd, publishers of Justice, the newspaper of the Social Democratic Federation.
The Press expanded to take over the whole building in 1908–9, and remained until 1922. It was during this period, in 1902–3, that the exiled V. I. Lenin worked in the building, publishing seventeen issues of his newspaper Iskra (Spark) from here. The office he allegedly used is preserved as a memorial to him, although this room did not in fact exist at the time he was there: however, he may have worked in an earlier office partly on its site.
Following a further period of commercial use, the Marx Memorial Library occupied part of the building in 1933, eventually taking over the whole.
Through these changes of use, the fabric had undergone numerous alterations and dilapidations, and in 1968–69 the building underwent a major programme of work to restore the 18th-century appearance of the front. The necessary interventions and reconstructions were so drastic that the result is described by the Survey of London as "a modern quasifacsimile – of the original only the outer quoins can have survived".
- "MML Accounts & Report of Work 2020 | Marx Memorial Library". www.marx-memorial-library.org.uk. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
- "MARX MEMORIAL LIBRARY - Charity 270309". register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2022.
- "Collections | Marx Memorial Library". www.marx-memorial-library.org.uk. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
- "Our History". www.marxlibrary.org.uk.
- "Marx Memorial Library". www.lonelyplanet.com.
- Temple 2008, p. 112.
- Temple 2008, pp. 111–13.
- Temple 2008, pp. 107–8.
- "Marx Memorial Library". Islington Directory. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
- Gerard, David (1 January 2002). "The Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green, London". Library Review. 51 (8): 417–419. doi:10.1108/00242530210443163. ISSN 0024-2535.
- "Theory & Struggle". www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
- Begley, W. W.; Betjeman, J.; Briggs, Asa; Broadwood, Evelyn; Driberg, Tom; Hill, Christopher; Paget, Paul; Spear, Ruskin; et al. (5 May 1967). "A House Worth Saving (letter)". The Times. London. p. 11.(subscription required)
- Rothstein, Andrew (1966). A House on Clerkenwell Green. London: Lawrence & Wishart.
- Temple, Philip, ed. (2008). "Clerkenwell Green". South and East Clerkenwell. Survey of London. Vol. 46. New Haven, London: English Heritage. pp. 86–114. ISBN 9780300137279.