Past Events

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An opportunity to catch up on what we've been up to

15 January 2020

Billy Strachan 1921-1998 was a World War 2 R.A.F. hero, a Civil Rights pioneer and leader, a lifelong Communist, a prominent law officer, and a gifted writer. He was leader of Caribbean Labour Congress (London branch), an anti-racist and anti -fascist fighter, an indomitable campaigner against colonialism and a mentor to many who met him.

Speakers included Winston Pinder, veteran Caribbean activist and close comrade of Billy Strachan, Chris Strachan, his eldest son, and David Horsley author of 'Billy Strachan Above All Caribbean Man' explore the extraordinary life of Billy Strachan. Through these personal and professional accounts we got to learn more about the man behind the name.


6 December 2019

On Friday 6 December - with Islington Councillors, our affiliate unions, representatives from museums and libraries, volunteers and trustees - we said a huge 'thank you' our friends and supporters who came to our assistance in the aftermath of our 24 September flood, and launched our #Lenin150 fundraising appeal.

We need £50,000 to carry out urgent remedial work on our building, to protect our unique collections in the long term and to create a new restricted fund dedicated to facilitating access to Marx House.

Help us raise these funds by Lenin's 150th birthday on 22 April 2020.

Photo credit Karl Weiss

Donate here


Check out our appeal film here

MML Flood Appeal #Lenin150 from Marx Memorial Library on Vimeo.

14 November 2019

On 14 November the Marx Memorial Library looked back at the Peterloo Massacre. Meirian Jump, Library Manager, opened the meeting by highlighting treasures in the library’s collection including a set of four commemorative ceramics from the James Klugmann Collection. Thanks to support from the Indian Workers Association and Unite the Union, these historic artefacts had been cleaned, photographed and catalogued in recent months, along with the rest of the MML’s ceramic collection.

Professor Mary Davis painted a rich picture of British radicalism in the run up to the 1819 massacre. Her paper underlined the economic hardship fell by many during this period of industrialisation, upheaval and unrest.

Dr Joe Cozens reflected on how Peterloo had been remembered by the left 1819-1919, focusing on themes of state violence, martyrdom, feminist politics and the conflict between democracy and capitalism. We learnt how the Chartists, suffragettes and the post WW1 trade union movement all drew on the memory of Peterloo at different moments during this period.


30 October 2019

On 30 October we launched a new online catalogue of our Bernal Peace Collection archives now searchable here…/Def…/en-GB/RecordView/Index/76847

The cataloguing project was funded by Beryl Huffingly and completed by Project Archivist Joseph Dance. This is a first - and important - step in opening up these unique archives on the world peace movement in the post war period to new audiences.

Last night we heard from Jane Bernal who described her father as a gentle man, a brilliant - endlessly curious - scientist, a polymath and a tireless, committed campaigner for peace.

Liz Payne brought greetings from the World Peace Council, quoting Bernal's own words which still ring true today 'the use of the bomb not only destroys civilisation, but disgraces it'.

Chair Claudia Webbe summed up by paying tribute to a JD Bernal, a dedicated socialist, and looking ahead to further online and education work MML can now undertake mobilising these newly catalogued archives.

19 October 2019

On 19 October we held a special commemorative event exploring the life of Charlie Hutchison, the only black Birtish veteran of the Spanish Civil War.

Life-long anti-fascist he was at Cable street, fought in Spain in the International Brigades and in numerous campaigns in WW2. Chair of his Young Communist League branch in Fulham in his teens, he was a passionate peace activist, trade unionist and socialist.

We heard from students of Newham Sixth Form college examining his motivations volunteering to go to Spain, and reflecting on his life through art and poetry.

It was an honour to welcome 16 members of the Hutchison family to MML. They shared moving tributes to Charlie, a quiet, brave, honest man who loved jazz, boxing and books.


1 May 2019

Marx Memorial Library's annual May Day was a great success. Over 280 came through the door on International Workers' Day. We welcomed visitors on tours of our historic building and with a special display of our newly digitised poster collection. At midday guest speakers addressed the crowds from the steps of Marx House. We heard from Harsev Bains, MML trustee, on the centenary of the Amritsar Massacre, and from the Venezuelan Ambassador, Rocio Maneiro. She addressed the demonstration announcing that 'the Venezuelan people will defend their revolution'.

Photo credit: Karl Weiss


4 December 2018

This is the third in a series of classes led by Jonathan White which looks at Marx and Engels’ historical materialism – their science of social change and historical development.

Class 3: Historical Materialism will Change your Life

28 November 2018

Marx Memorial Library

The inaugural Engels Memorial Lecture joint with the Working Class Movement Library, Salford, held at the Marx Memorial Lecture 28 November 2018.

Professor Terrell Carver 'Engels Before Marx' from Marx Memorial Library on Vimeo.

20 November 2018

This is the second in a series of classes led by Jonathan White which looks at Marx and Engels’ historical materialism – their science of social change and historical development.

Class 2: Social change and class struggle

6 November 2018

This was the first in a series of classes led by Jonathan White examining Marx and Engels’ historical materialism – their science of social change and historical development.

Class 1: Human labour and the movement of history

5 May 2018

SOAS, University of London

A major international conference celebrating Marx’s work and exploring the significance of Marxism in the world today. Organised by the Marx Memorial Library on the bicentenary of Marx's birth, it dealt with how Marxism can be applied to present day conditions, concerning gender and race, the role of the state, nationalism, and the environment.

Speakers included Isabel Monal, Editor of Cuban theoretical journal Marx Ahora; Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the Communist of India (Marxist); and John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, who brought the event to a climactic end by highlighting the new wave of interest in Marxism which had followed the 2007-8 financial crash. Sponsors of the event included the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust, Unison, the Indian Workers' Association, the Ken Sprague Fund and SOAS.


4 November 2017

Trades Union Congress, London

An international conference celebrating the centenary of the Russian Revolution and its global impact, past and present. The MML's exhibition about the revolution's effect on World War I and the British and European labour movements was also displayed at the event. The conference featured a range of political and historical speakers, such as Johanna Scheringer-Wright, member of Die Linke for German's Thüringer parliament and Teresita Vicente Sotolongo, Cuban Ambassador to the UK. Topics that were discussed included the legacy of the revolution and its effect on women, art and cinema, and the developing world. The event was well-attended and featured on BBC's Sunday Politics.


1 August 2017

Marx Memorial Library

Ben Fine, Professor of Economics at SOAS, gave a talk defending Marx's timely critique of the capitalist system and further spoke on the relevance of Das Kapital today. Fine also dealt with the movements that were inspired by Marx's most famous work, and the efforts to replace capitalism that have existed since Das Kapital was first published 150 years ago.