The Kim Stallwood Archive at The British Library

In my office, I stand next to the 36 boxes of materials packed and ready for The British Library to take.

The Kim Stallwood Archive of research material documenting the history of the animal rights movement will become part of the British Library’s permanent holdings starting in autumn 2020. The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and provides information services to academic, business, research, and scientific communities.

My unique archive chronicle the animal rights movement’s development from the mid-1970s through to the late 1980s. The research material, which comprises nearly 600 organisation files, 150 people files, and 118 subject files, complements the library’s earlier acquisition of materials from writer and animal advocate Richard Ryder.

I am honoured to partner with the British Library to make these vast materials available publicly for the first time. The history of the animal rights movement parallels the struggle of other social and political movements to give voice and recognition to those who have long suffered without either. I have devoted my life to this mission.

“I am delighted that the British Library is now the permanent home for the Kim Stallwood Archive,” adds Rachel Foss, Head of Contemporary Archives and Manuscripts, Contemporary British Collections, “where it greatly enhances our growing collections of archives relating to contemporary campaigning and activism. The Archive is an extremely valuable resource for researchers, students and anyone interested in the history of the animal rights movement, animal welfare and food activism. We are looking forward to beginning work to make the collection available to the public which we hope to do by the end of 2021.”

The Stallwood Archive was compiled from hundreds of personal files, appointment diaries, address books, correspondence, periodicals, and other printed and digital materials that trace major events in animal rights history on two continents. For example, the archive includes:

  • Correspondence with Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and Jim Mason, author and attorney, from late 1970s to early 1980s about the challenges to establishing the nascent animal rights movement in the UK and USA, including launching organisations, arranging demonstrations, and publishing magazines
  • Files from Co-ordinating Animal Welfare, the groundbreaking activist organization that Stallwood co-founded, which nurtured the development of grassroots groups, challenged the effectiveness of established national organisations, and contributed to the development of an international animal rights movement in its formative stage in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Stallwood’s diaries and address books from the 1970s to the 1990s

Jonathan Pledge, Curator of Politics and Public Life at The British Library, and myself meeting in my office.

Now that it is part of the British Library’s more than 170 million items, the Stallwood Archive will provide insight and appreciation for the people and organisations that gave rise to one of the most progressive and inclusive movements in social justice history.

The Stallwood Archive will be catalogued and made available to researchers and the public in the coming year. Due to their sensitive nature, some materials will be embargoed from public view for the next 25 years. The archive will be housed in the library’s historic building in London near King’s Cross. An oral history of Stallwood will be conducted in 2021 and added to the archive.

Click here for a copy of the announcement.