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Middlesex University: University Collections

Runnymede Collection


Reference code(s): GB 2925

Held at: Middlesex University: University Collections

Title: Runnymede Collection

Date(s): 1957-[2000]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 6000 books and pamplets, 200 journals, 40 boxes of press cuttings, 166 boxes of research files.

Name of creator(s): Runnymede Trust


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Runnymede Trust is one of the most influential and respected think tanks on race-relations in Britain. It was formerly established on 1 August 1968, by Deed of Trust, as an educational charity. It had developed partly as a response to the growth of racist politics, especially those of Enoch Powell, which looked at the time to be turning into a mass movement, and also as an attempt to create an equivalent to the American Anti-Defamation League in Britain. The founding members of the organisation were Jim Rose, Anthony Lester, Philip Mason, Sir Joseph Simpson, Mark Bonham-Carter, Dipak Nandy, Nicholas Deakin and Jock Campbell. The funding for its establishment came from the New World Foundation in New York, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust and the Hilden Trust. Dipak Nandy became the Trust's first Director. Since its inception, the Trust has worked to challenge racial discrimination and promote a successful multi-ethnic Britain by providing the facts of racial discrimination and the techniques for overcoming it, stimulating debate and suggesting strategies in public policy. Its principal function in the early years was to provide briefs, background papers and research data for MPs, civil servants, local government and others concerned with policy. It provided a means of responding swiftly and authoritatively on key issues as media attention to the subject of race relations increased. The Trust's Bulletin was initiated in 1969 and has been published regularly ever since. In later years, Runnymede published reports designed to interpret government policy to a wider audience at the same time as briefing government on public opinion. Through the 1990s, Runnymede's role shifted from that of providing position or interpretative papers to working more closely with government in an advisory capacity. Over the years, Runnymede has produced key reports such as Colour and Citizenship (1969) an authoritative rebuttal to Enoch Powell's anti-immigration populist stance; A Very Light Sleeper: The Persistence and Dangers of Anti-Semitism (1994), This is where I live - stories and pressures in Brixton (1996), and School Exclusions and the Race Factor (1999). The Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain was established as an independent Runnymede inquiry in 1997 culminating in the publication of The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain: the Parekh Report in October 2000. Runnymede has produced regular bulletins called Race and Immigration: The Runnymede Trust Bulletin, which became The Runnymede Bulletin in 1992. The Runnymede Trust was one of the organisations responsible for the establishment of the UK Race and Europe Network (UKREN) in 1996. A Board of Trustees decides the policies of the organisation and the Director is responsible for developing strategies.


Scope and content/abstract:

The Runnymede Collection comprises books, pamphlets, journals, newsletters, bulletins, press cuttings and working files. The Trust's original working research files contain correspondence, press releases, reports, journal articles and other documents. Subject areas include immigration, deportation, citizenship and nationality, race and racism, politics and race relations, far-right political groups in Britain and abroad, employment, housing, inner cities, social services, health and the National Health Service, education, policing, crime and racially motivated crime, prisons, ethnic minorities and the legal system, demography and the ethnic population in Britain, migrants and ethnic issues in Europe and the European Community, women from ethnic groups in Britain, the media and ethnic minorities, human rights.


Language/scripts of material: English, some French

System of arrangement:

The books and pamphlets are catalogued and ordered according to the Runnymede's original classification scheme. The journals have been rearranged and listed in alphabetical order. The original cataloguing structure for the research files has been retained which arranges the documents in subject order. Documents are arranged in chronological order within the subject areas. The press cuttings are arranged in subject order according to the organisation's original classification scheme and in chronological order within the subject areas.

Conditions governing access:

The collection is located at the Black Cultural Archives, 1 Othello Close, London SE11 4RE. Access is by appointment only. Contact BCA by or telephone 020 7582 8516.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the archivist. No original material can be reproduced without written permission of the Runnymede Trust.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

A hard copy listing is available for the journals. Hard copy and automated listings are being compiled for the press cuttings and files.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Accruals expected

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was transferred from Middlesex University to the Black Cultural Archives in 2011.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Compiled by Judy Vaknin, December 2002 and amended 2011

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: December 2002 and amended 2011

Housing needs | Housing | Accommodation | Building standards | Building design | Construction engineering
Illegal immigration | Immigration | Migration
Immigrants | Migrants
National Health Service | Health services
Nationalism | Political doctrines
Police | Law enforcement | Social control, formal | Sociology
Prisons | Penal sanctions | Administration of justice
Racism (doctrine) | Racial discrimination
Penal institutions
Social sciences
Social welfare

Personal names

Corporate names
Runnymede Trust