The Green-History project itself does not store or archive physical material, our mission is to make such material generally available by producing and publishing electronic copies of historical material that can be freely accessed.
Many people who were (and sometimes still are) active in the green movement have personal archives of papers - most people who have been a candidate, even if only for a council election, will keep a copy of their leaflet as a souvenir. Flyers and leaflets and magazines are often stored away and eventually relegated to the attic or garage where they languish more or less forgotten.
Eventually people die or have a clear-out and being unsure what to do with their mementoes, or perhaps unaware of their significance, they are lost.
There are a number of archives which will accept papers if they are relevant to the purpose of the particular archive. County record offices will often be interested in material relating to specific events in their area - for example elections or protest campaigns. There are also several universities with historical archives which may be interested in accepting documentation.
From the Green-History point of view the problem with these archives is that they, quite rightly, are primarily concerned with preserving the material and making it available to researchers in the future. They do not generally have the resources to scan the documents and make them available.
Naturally a lot of green documentation was produced on low grade early recycled paper which decays faster and using "eco-friendly" inks which fade faster than the "normal" inks so there are often limitations on the handling of material.
In addition where archives do allow material to be reproduced they will often insist on using their own archival quality scanners which have a lower light intensity and will make a significant charge for producing scans reflecting their time and staff costs. This coupled with the fact that it is often difficult to tell if something is worth requesting from the brief catalogue entry (if a catalogue of the material has been produced) make it very difficult for Green-History to make use of documents once they have been deposited in a formal archive.
If you have material which you think might be of interest we would recommend that you do ultimately pass it to an archive for long term safe keeping, but before that please do let us know what you have got and give us the chance to visit and take copies before they disappear into a vault.
Currently (2018) we are primarily interested in material from before 1990, but looking to the future we intend to extend our timeframe over the coming years so if you are needing to dispose of documents later than 1989 we would also be interested in copying these before they disappear.
Here is a list of some of the paper archives which we have found:
- County Record Offices - despite continuing cuts these do still exist and are a good place to hold material of local, rather than national interest.
- Devon, North Devon Record Office, Barnstaple. Holds Peter Christie's papers relating to Devon, SW and national Green Party
- Oxfordshire, St.Lukes, Oxford. Oxford Green Party archives