Graphical version

Trades Union Congress (TUC) Library Collections and University Archives at London Metropolitan University

Smurfitt Archive of the Irish in Britain


Reference code(s): GB 1924 Irish in Britain

Held at: Trades Union Congress (TUC) Library Collections and University Archives at London Metropolitan University

Title: Smurfitt Archive of the Irish in Britain

Date(s): c1930-2002

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 5 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Irish in Britain History Group
University of North London | Irish Studies Centre


Administrative/Biographical history:

The archive was begun by the Irish in Britain History Group, and was donated to the Irish Studies Centre at the University of North London in 1991, who have continued to develop and expand the collection. The aim is to create a representative record of the experiences of the Irish in Britain.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Smurfitt Archive of the Irish in Britain, c1930-2002, comprising:
Special Collections: including the Paul Hill Prison Letters, 1974-1989; correspondence related to the Commission for Racial Equality funded research programme into the Irish in Britain in the mid 1990s; correspondence between Irish Community Groups and the Greater London Council Irish Liaison Unit, in the 1980s, and individual accounts of experiences of migrating to, and settling in Britain during the 20th Century.
Community Collection: including community organisation reports, information sheets and publicity material.
Photographic collections: including prints by Joanne O'Brien of Irish community events in the 1980s, and a collection of photographs of activities of the London Irish Womens Centre.
Audio recordings: including oral history interviews with Irish people in Britain, recorded in the 1980s; recordings of lectures given to the Irish in Britain History Group, 1980s; recordings of radio broadcasts on the Irish in Britain, 1980-1990s, and recordings of UNL Irish Studies Centre public lectures, 1991-2001.
Ephemera including posters publicising political, cultural and social events; Irish step-dance medals, sporting medals and shields, rosettes and banners; exhibition panels relating to the Guildford Four Campaign, and about the activities of the Camden Irish Pensioners Group.
Researchers should note that the archive contains no genealogical material.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Collections sorted by type: special collections, community collections, photographs, audio and ephemera.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to use the Archive should contact Tony Murray, Irish Studies Centre, University of North London, Holloway Road, London, N7 8DB.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies are available, at the discretion of the Irish Studies Centre, and subject to copyright restrictions.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Lists available from the Irish Studies Centre


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was donated to the Irish Studies Centre at the University of North London by the Irish in Britain History Group in 1991.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The Irish Studies Centre also holds substantial collection of books and articles on the subject of the Irish in Britain, taken from academic journals, newspapers and other sources; runs of newspaper including The Irish Post, The London Irish News, Troops Out, The Irish Democrat, Irish Studies in Britain, Ri Ra and the BAIS Newspetter; video recordings of television programmes and films about the Irish in Britain.

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Compiled by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), 2nd edition, 2000 and National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2002

Civil and political rights | Human rights
Intercultural communication | Communication process
Intercultural education | Education and culture | Educational policy
Prisoners | Disadvantaged groups
Prisons | Penal sanctions | Administration of justice
Ethnic groups
Interethnic relations
Penal institutions
Rights of special groups

Personal names
Hill | Paul | b 1954 | former prisoner

Corporate names
Camden Irish Pensioners Group
GLC Irish Liaison Unit
London Irish WomensCentre

Ireland | Western Europe | Europe
St Pancras | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe