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British Library of Political and Economic Science

Fabian Society: local Fabian Societies


IDENTITY STATEMENT

Reference code(s): GB 0097 COLL MISC 0375

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: Fabian Society: local Fabian Societies

Date(s): 1890-1912

Level of description: collection

Extent: 5 volumes

Name of creator(s): Fabian Society

CONTEXT

Administrative/Biographical history:

In October 1883 Edith Nesbit (1858-1924) and Hubert Bland (1855-1914) decided to form a socialist debating group with their Quaker friend Edward Pease (1857-1955). They were also joined by Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) and Frank Podmore (1856-1910). In January 1884 they decided to call themselves the Fabian Society. Hubert Bland chaired the first meeting and was elected treasurer. By March 1884 the group had twenty members. However, over the next couple of years the group increased in size and included socialists such as Annie Besant (1847-1933), Sidney Webb (1859-1947), Beatrice Webb (1858-1943), George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Clement Attlee (1883-1967), Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937), Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928), H G Wells (1866-1946) and Rupert Brooke (1887-1915). By 1886 the Fabians had sixty-seven members and an income of 35 19s. The official headquarters of the organisation was 14 Dean's Yard, Westminster. The Fabian Society journal, "Today", was edited by Edith Nesbit and Hubert Bland. The Fabians believed that capitalism had created an unjust and inefficient society. They agreed that the ultimate aim of the group should be to reconstruct "society in accordance with the highest moral possibilities". The Fabians adopted the tactic of trying to convince people by "rational factual socialist argument", rather than the "emotional rhetoric and street brawls" of the Social Democratic Federation, Britain's first socialist political party. On 27th Febuary 1900, representatives from the Fabian Society and all the other socialist groups in Britain met at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, London. This conference established the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), which in 1906 changed its name to the Labour Party. At its outset the LRC had one member of the Fabian Society among its members.

CONTENT

Scope and content/abstract:

Handbills and newspaper cuttings on the activities of local Fabian Societies, pasted into exercise books covering each local Fabian Society.

ACCESS AND USE

Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

5 volumes: Volume 1 - A-C; Volume 2 - D-H; Volume 3 - J-L; Volume 4 - M-R; Volume 5 - S-Y.

Conditions governing access:

CLOSED

Conditions governing reproduction:

APPLY TO ARCHIVIST

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

No further list required

ARCHIVAL INFORMATION

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:

Accruals:

Archival history:

These volumes were collected by Edward Pease (1857-1955).

Immediate source of acquisition:

ALLIED MATERIALS

Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:

DESCRIPTION NOTES

Note:

Archivist's note: Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on May 8, 2002

Date(s) of descriptions: 8 May 2002


INDEX ENTRIES
Subjects
Labour movements | Labour relations
Politics | Political science
Socialism | Collectivism | Political doctrines

Personal names
Pease | Edward Reynolds | 1857-1955 | secretary of Fabian Society

Corporate names
Fabian Society

Places