Original documents from the archives.

A note on sources

Where did the documents listed here – and the material, such as the press cuttings and photos that form the basis of the Diary section – come from?

Some of the material is from personal collections. But a great deal of the documentation came from the archive collected by Professor Hair of the History Faculty at Liverpool University. It is clear that Professor Hair was concerned about the growing militancy on campus from late 1969 and at some point began collecting leaflets, press cuttings and copies of Guild Gazette.  Most importantly, he began to subscribe to a national press cuttings service, so that by the time of the occupation we are able to browse press coverage in national, local and regional newspapers, as well as discussions in journals such as New Statesman. It would appear that the archive was also later supplemented by some documents from the University administration. The Hair archive can be viewed in  Special Collections at the University’s Sydney Jones Library – Ref D96.

Professor Hair’s prime motive in collecting the materials would appear to have been the idea of establishing an organisation that would reflect moderate opinion on campus and would bring together those who, throughout the crises of early 1970, had felt disquiet about the growth of confrontation in the University and the deep divisions revealed by the collapse of Guild government, the occupation, the trials and their aftermath. During the summer term soundings were taken amongst various academics about the need to establish some kind of organisation that would seek a more consensual way forward. The organisation that resulted was AFLU – the Association for the Future of Liverpool University.

Without Professor Hair’s archive, the detailed reconstruction presented on this blog of student protest at Liverpool University between 1968 and 1970 would not have been possible. Professor Hair died in 2005; his archive has proved a rich resource and I am immensely grateful for his action in compiling it. Though he didn’t approve of the occupation, as a historian, I am sure he would be glad that his materials have enabled us to excavate the past – and all views are being represented on the blog.

Papers consulted in University of Liverpool Special Collections & Archives

  • Papers relating to the Occupation of Senate House (Professor Hair/AFLU archive): D96
  • Research papers of Professor Thomas Kelly: D255
  • Registrar’s Archive – Occupation of Senate House by students and its aftermath: P8351/1-3
  • Board of Discipline notices and reports of the Board of Discipline 1970: P9862/4
  • Board of Appeal reports of meetings 15 May 1970- 26 July 1976: P9862/5
  • Chaplain’s Correspondence: A190/E/10
  • Correspondence and related papers of Miss Barbara J. Kirk: D323/1/8
  • Jon Snow 1997: A268/73

3 thoughts on “Files”

  1. Our posthumous debt to Professor Hair is substantial. But having excavated his archive, what is history to record of this magnificent website? Does it, or can it ever, become part of the archive?

    It would odd indeed if Professor Hair could create a material archive, searchable 40 years later, but we could not emulate it digitally and electronically through this website for the enlightenment, even amusement, of future generations.

  2. Christine, if you mean former residents of Vine Street – I don’t know. But Kim Singleton who contributed an article to Nerve magazine on the Abercromby tenants’ rent strike in 2009 ( and was at the time researching the strike, might. She is the daughter of Jim and Ethel Singleton who lived in Melville Place – Ethel was secretary of the tenants association. You could try contacting Kim via Nerve at or here:

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