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Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)

Identity Statement

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science
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Full title: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
Date(s): 1958-2008
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 557 boxes
Name of creator(s): CND | Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is a non party-political British organisation advocating the abolition of nuclear weapons worldwide. It was formed in 1958 by the philosopher Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, and the Rev Canon (Lewis) John Collins and grew out of the demonstration held outside the government's Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, Berkshire, at Easter 1956. Following a rapid growth of membership in its first years of existence, nuclear issues were overtaken by popular protest concerning the Vietnam War. CND survived, but as a much smaller movement. In 1960, the Committee of 100 was set up to organise Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) actions, such as mass sit-ins and blockades.
The decision, taken in 1979, to deploy American Cruise and Pershing missiles in Great Britain and other European countries led to a growth in CND membership and activities, such as protest marches and the harassment of Cruise convoys. Since the end of the Cold War, the emphasis of CND activities has changed to include lobbying of MPs and at international conferences, the tracking and publicising of road and rail shipments of nuclear materials, and the work of talking to people and groups, though there are still regular protests and direct actions at nuclear installations around the country. CND is part of Abolition 2000, a global network, founded in 1995 and with organised support in 76 countries, to press for the elimination of nuclear weapons.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), comprising papers relating to the CND's constitution, minutes of National Council, National Executive Committee and other committees and subject files, 1958-2008; General Secretary's correspondence, 1965-1996; annual conference papers, 1959-2008; papers relating to Aldermaston marches and other Easter demonstrations, 1961-2008; London Region CND minutes, correspondence and papers, 1959-2008; London Region CND papers relating to Aldermaston marches, 1960-1988; London Region CND correspondence with local CND groups and other organisations, 1960s; papers of the Colleges and Universities Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1960-1968; papers of the Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1961-2008; presscuttings, 1960s; press releases, 1981-2008; papers relating to Trade Union CND, 1981-2008; papers relating to demonstrations and campaigns, 1981-2008; minutes, reports and papers of regional CND groups, 1981-2008; local CND group newsletters, 1980-2008; pamphlets and publications, 1970-2008; papers of Ex-Services CND, Christian CND and other affiliated groups, 1984-2008, local group newsletters, c1985-2008; speeches and articles by Bruce Kent, 1981-1989.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright retained by the donor and their heirs.

Finding aids:

Detailed list available from Archives staff

Archival Information

Archival history:

Early material (1958-1971) was given by CND in 1971 (via the Modern Political Archives project). Additional deposits of CND material (1980-1995) were given in 1986, 1993, 2003 and 2007. This was supplemented in 2008 by another deposit (1958-2008). The papers of Bruce Kent, (1981-1989), were given by CND in 1994.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

The BLPES holds further material relating to the CND, including leaflets of the CND and other peace groups (Ref: Coll Misc 00399333), scrapbooks of the Reading and District CND (Ref: Coll Misc 0537/1/5-8), a CND Election leaflet (Ref: Coll Misc 0401/10/2), and a 1983 general election leaflet (Ref: Coll Misc 06922/23/2, 5).

The main archive of CND is held at the Modern Records Centre, Warwick University (Ref: MS 181). A smaller collection of CND material exists at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth (Ref: A/1990/43; CND Cymru). Records of certain local CND branches are held at the appropriate record offices: records of the north West CND are at the Working Class Movement Library in salford; papers of the Huddersfield branch, 1960-1989, are at the Kirklees Branch of the West Yorkshire Archives Service (Ref: KC107) - records of the Yorkshire and Humberside branch are at the Wakefield Branch; minutes of the Sheffield branch, 1963-1967, are in Sheffield Central Library; minutes, accounts and correspondence of the Trowbridge district, 1958-1965, are in Wiltshire Record Office; and minutes of the Ystradgynlais, Brecon branch, 1959-1961, are at University College, Swansea.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Imogene Mackay.

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:
Sep 2009

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