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British Library of Political and Economic Science

Liberal Movement


Reference code(s): GB 0097 LIBERAL MOVEMENT

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: Liberal Movement

Date(s): 1988-1991

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 4 boxes

Name of creator(s): Liberal Movement


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Liberal Movement was formed in February 1988 as a forum for the maintenance for Liberal principles in British politics following the merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to form the Social and Liberal Democrats (SLD). The Liberal Movement was not a political party and did not promote candidates for election. Its membership included individuals from the SLD, the re-launched Liberal Party and the Green Party. The founding conference on 20 February 1988 elected an interim steering committee to initiate the work of the group, which was replaced by an Executive Committee in summer 1988. The Liberal Movement has a commitment to regional organisation which was reflected in the development of local groups; the Devon Liberal Movement was formed in March 1988. The Liberal Movement's stated aim was to 'begin a longterm re-evaluation of liberal principles', and to this end it organised assemblies and publications, including a range of briefings and discussion papers.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Liberal Movement, 1988-1991, notably minutes and working papers of the Interim Steering Committee, 1988, including notes on the merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), a draft constitution, correspondence with supporters, papers relating to the Young Liberal Movement, material concerning the SDP leadership elections, and papers relating to the Liberal Movement Assembly of 1988; minutes and working papers of the Executive Committee, 1988-1990, including details of elections for the Executive Committee, material relating to the establishment of standing committees on finance and administration, assemblies, policy, publications and membership, correspondence on relations with the Social and Liberal Democrats (SLD), financial material, and papers from the 1990 Liberal Movement Assembly; records of the Devon Liberal Movement, 1988-1989, mainly comprising minutes and working papers, press cuttings, correspondence and a draft constitution; publications, 1988-1991, notably copies of the Liberal Movement News, publications by the Young Liberal Movement and the Scottish Liberal Movement, and discussion and theme papers on policy issues including ecology, economics and employment legislation; papers relating to membership of the Liberal Movement, 1989, notably a membership list and papers relating to Europe and the relaunch of the Liberal party.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as follows: Interim Steering Committee, Executive Committee, Devon Liberal Movement, publications and membership papers.

Conditions governing access:

Closed for 25 years from the date of the latest document, excluding the printed material, which is open.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright retained by depositor.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

On-line catalogue available.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Given by David Morrish in 1995.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The British Library of Political and Economic Science holds further material relating to the Liberal Movement in the papers of Paddy Ashdown (Ref: Ashdown), Michael James Ashcroft (Ref: Ashcroft) and Jean Henderson (Ref: Henderson). The BLPES also holds the papers of the Liberal Party, the Liberal/SDP Alliance and the Social and Liberal Democrats. Essex University Library holds the records of the SDP; Bristol University holds minutes of the Liberal Central Association, 1883-1914, minutes of the Liberal Executive Council, 1927-1939, and papers of the Liberal Social Council, 1914-1965 (Ref: DM 668). Papers of the Devon Liberal Party, 1971-1986, are held at the Devon Record Office (Ref: D 5302).

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: Historical Manuscripts Commission National Register of Archives. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Jan 2001

Western Europe | Europe

Personal names

Corporate names
Devon Liberal Movement
Liberal Movement
Liberal Party
Scottish Liberal Movement
SDP | Social Democratic Party
Social and Liberal Democratic Party x Liberal Democratic Party
Young Liberal Movement