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NATIONAL CULTURAL COMMITTEE

National Cultural Committee

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National Cultural Committee

CP/CENT/CULT. In 1975 the so-called Gould Report detailed the penetration of Marxists into British universities and drew particular attention to the CPGB's successful annual event, the Communist University of London. One is not required to share the author's alarmist premises to accept that the communists' cultural and intellectual influence, in particular periods and particular disciplines, was enormous. Doubtless, communist intellectuals must often have shared the historian E.P. Thompson's impatience with 'Emilism': the bureaucratic interference that Thompson associated with the party's leading cultural functionary, Emile Burns. Indeed, it is suggestive of the intellectuals' high defection rate and less exclusive commitment to the party that the archive contains none of the papers of those, like Thompson or the scientists Haldane or Bernal, who achieved a major intellectual standing outside the party's ranks. Nevertheless, there are major holdings for 'party' intellectuals like R. Palme Dutt and Ivor Montagu. And there are also the files of the National Cultural Committee, set up in 1947 with a view at once to policing and to nurturing the flow of Marxist ideas. These do rather give the view from King Street, and from Burns's office as the committee's secretary. Nevertheless, they also testify to the range of intellectual endeavours undertaken by the party. Fragmentary survivals include papers of the Sigerist Society, Engels Society (biology) and the psychology and architects' groups, while rather fuller documentation exists for the artists' group, and there is a full run of the music group's Music and life. Unquestionably the most distinguished of these bodies was the Historians' Group, which, at a formative period of their lives, brought together luminaries like Edward Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm, Christopher Hill and John Saville, and thus came to exercise a profound influence on English historical scholarship. Happily there survive fairly extensive records for the group, dating from its heyday in the 1950s to its later, less influential activities as the CPGB History Group. With the records of the Historians' Group one should perhaps add the papers of Dona Torr (CP/IND/TORR), whom many of its younger figures regarded as the doyenne of British Marxist historians.

Description drawn from Kevin Morgan's introduction.

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BROWSING 11-20 OF 23 RESULT(S) IN NATIONAL CULTURAL COMMITTEE

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CPGB History Group (i)

CPGB History Group (i)

From box CP/CENT/CULT/05. File 11: Committee minute book, 1946-1951. | File 12: Committee minute book, 1951-1954. | File 13: Committee minute book, 1954-1956. | From box CP/CENT/CULT/06. File 01: Committee minute... (more...)

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CPGB History Group (North West group)

CPGB History Group (North West group)

From box CP/CENT/CULT/16. File 01: Papers of John Attfield, History Group secretary, re CP North West History Group, 1969-1977.

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CPGB Music Group

CPGB Music Group

From box CP/CENT/CULT/16. File 02: Music and Life nos. 1-20. | File 03: nos. 21-40. | File 04: nos. 41-55. | File 05: Misc. leaflets and papers, etc., 1950s-1960s.

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CPGB Philosophy Group

CPGB Philosophy Group

From box CP/CENT/CULT/17. File 01: Papers nos. 1-2 by Richard Gunn, 1974-1990.

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CPGB Psychology Group

CPGB Psychology Group

From box CP/CENT/CULT/17. File 02: Misc. papers of Yvonne Kapp re meetings, 1947-1948.

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Sigerist Society

Sigerist Society

From box CP/CENT/CULT/17. File 03: Typescript proceedings, 1948-1956. "The Sigerist Society," according to a note on the front several issues, "was formed in 1947 by a group of doctors who felt... (more...)

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CPGB Visual Arts Group

CPGB Visual Arts Group

From box CP/CENT/CULT/17. File 04: Circulated statement on Visual Arts Group with draft; copy of a VAG bulletin no 4 Aug. 1978.

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Theory and Ideology Committee

Theory and Ideology Committee

From box CP/CENT/CULT/17. File 05: Minutes and papers of the TIC (formed from the Cultural Committee), 1976-1979.

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Brian Simon papers (ii)

Brian Simon papers (ii)

From box CP/CENT/CULT/18. File 01: Minutes, etc. of the NCC, 1966-1968. | File 02: Minutes, etc., 1968-1969. | File 03: Miscellaneous cuttings, etc., 1968-1970. | File 04: Assorted NCC and sub-committees... (more...)

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Communist University of London

Communist University of London

From box CP/CENT/CULT/18. File 05: Comprises a single small file of miscellaneous items, 1977-1982. In fact most materials on Communist University of London, with special reference to the history courses, appear... (more...)

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