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Benson Collection

Medium: Printed

Number of items: 500 items (dispersed).

This collection, devoted to the history of English socialism, was formed by Sir George Benson (1889-1973), former Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, and was donated in 1949 and 1952.

The majority of the collection is made up of issues of 19th-century periodicals such as the satirical, radical journal The Black Dwarf and The Crisis, a penny paper in support of co-operative societies. There is a smaller collection of pamphlets from the 1790s, including material relating to the London Corresponding Society and early issues of Hog's Wash, later known as Politics for the People. The handful of monographs in the collection includes titles by Robert Owen (1771-1858), Bronterre O'Brien (1804-1864), George Jacob Holyoake (1817-1906), and William Thompson (1775-1833).

Also included are all the major publications of the Independent Labour Party.

Further information:

  • Recorded in Library Search.
  • Notes in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 32 (1949-50), 143.
  • Notes in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 35 (1952-53), 288.


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