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Margaret Collin Papers

Date range: 1930-1937, 1999

Medium: Archive

Three travel journals of Margaret Collin née Frankish (1907-1999), written during her visit to the Soviet Union in 1937 under the auspices of the Left Book Club. Collin witnessed Stalinism at its height, with rapid industrialisation, the collectivization of agriculture, and pervasive state control of all aspects of cultural and intellectual life, as well as the provision of welfare, improvements in housing, education and medical services. Collin spoke extensively to ordinary Russians, during train journeys and while visiting towns and cities, although their comments were always guarded. These short, observational diaries cover a range of topics including: public buildings, dress and customs, state farms, factories, transport, housing, state orphanages and sanatoria for children (including some child refugees from the Spanish Civil War), religion and general impressions of Soviet Russia.

After leaving school aged 14 or 15 Margaret Collin educated herself via the Women’s Cooperative Guild and in June 1930 won a scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford.

There are also a small amount of official papers (insurance schedule, birth and marriage certificates), 3 photographic group portraits, and 4 newspaper cuttings regarding the Mary MacArthur scholarships.

Further information:

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


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