Activists are people who are willing to take action: they take a stand, they speak out; they organise and inspire others.
Our collection contains information about many important activists, often including their personal papers:
• Frank Allaun (1913-2002) - journalist, and Labour MP for Salford East who helped to organise the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's first Aldermaston march in 1958.
• James Connolly (1868-1916) - campaigner for socialism, executed by the British authorities after helping to lead the Easter Rebellion in Ireland in 1916. Connolly visited and gave speeches in Salford in 1901 and 1902 (amongst other places).
• Len Dole (1919-2004) - conscientious objector during the Second World War, Labour Party agent for Nelson and Colne and someone who devoted his life to socialism, peace, co-operation and anti-racism.
• Ernest Jones (1819-1869) - lawyer, poet, journalist and one of the later leaders of the Chartists, the working men's movement to reform parliament and improve the rights of ordinary people.
• William Cuffay (1788-1870) - a tailor and active Chartist in London, who became a prominent national figure in the movement. His father was black and he was sometimes attacked because of his race. He was tried in 1848 for treason and felony due to his activities in the Chartist Movement and transported to Tasmania where he died in 1870.
• William Davidson (1780s-1820) - born in Jamaica of mixed parentage. He was one of a number of men arrested for an alleged plot (the Cato Street Conspiracy) led by Arthur Thistlewood to assassinate the Cabinet and was beheaded on 1 May 1820.
• CLR James (1901-1989) - journalist, writer, political theoretician and active Trotskyist, whose writing on cricket, history and politics continue to be influential.
• Len Johnson (1902-1974) - from Manchester and a successful boxer in the 1920s, but was denied titles because he was black. Len later became an active member of the Communist Party of Great Britain
• Ewan MacColl (1915-1989) - Salford-born folk singer, songwriter and socialist who spent his life exploring ways to communicate ideas. Best known as a musician, he also acted, wrote plays and made radio programmes. His best-known songs are ‘Dirty Old Town' and ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'.
• Tom Mann (1859-1941) - trade unionist and politician who was a founder member of the Independent Labour Party, General Secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers and president of the Dockers' Union.
•Thomas Paine (1737-1809) - revolutionary writer and radical political thinker and author of ‘Common Sense', ‘Rights of Man' and ‘Age of Reason'.
• Ernie Roberts (1912-1994) - politician, who cited as his influences the treatment afforded to soldiers after the First World War, the General Strike and the operation of the Poor Law.
• Benny Rothman (1911-2002) - rambler and campaigner who in April 1932 led hundreds of trespassers on to the Peak District moors of Kinder Scout; this led to new laws allowing better access to the countryside for working people. Lifelong trade unionist and environmental campaigner.
• Angela Tuckett (1906-1994) - led a busy life as a journalist and campaigner active in many areas of the labour movement, a remarkable individual.
• Francis Fletcher Vane (1861-1934) - officer in the British Army who spoke out against murders committed by the army in Dublin during the Easter Rebellion in 1916. Also an early scout leader, and supporter of peace and women's suffrage movements.
The Library also holds tape recordings of interviews with many activists.