Thursday, 19 April 2018 09:36

May Day Open Day

May Day May Day… … Open Day…at the Marx Memorial Library. May 1st is International Workers’ Day, and the Marx Memorial Library will celebrate, along with the crowds gathering outside for the annual May Day march to Trafalgar Square. May Day in Britain used to signify the renewal of life as winter turned to spring, likewise the Labour movement honours its origins. A renowned archive of Socialist scholarship and literature the MML will open its doors to the public, offering free short tours of its historic building in the heart of radical Clerkenwell. Visitors can see the room where Vladimir Lenin worked in exile 1902-3, editing the Russian newspaper ISKRA before his pint at the Crown pub opposite. There is an abundance of other socialist and trade union history, including displays of NUM plates, and the International Brigade’s British Battalion banner. An exhibition on the Tolpuddle Martyrs will be held in the Reading Room, describing the wave of anger that swept across the country following their convictions, and how their story has inspired workers’ struggles ever since. The exhibition showcases a unique collection of contemporary newspapers held at the Library, now available on line thanks to sponsorship by the British and Australian trade union movements. Meirian Jump, Archivist & Library Manager at the Marx Memorial Library says, ‘The campaign surrounding the Martyrs, as told through these archives, represents the origins of trade unionism and serves as a lasting legacy of what solidarity actions by a united movement can achieve.’ Open Day will also include the opportunity to speak to staff and volunteers about the unique history and current work of the MML. Stalls will sell second hand books on the history of socialism and the trade union movement, as well as gifts and souvenirs. Light refreshments, including homemade cakes will be on sale. Although rich in history, the ethos of the MML and its contents are very much about today, about current working class struggles both here and abroad, and is a resource for those struggles. ‘If I have seen further than others it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.’ (Isaac Newton) 2018 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx, and an international conference ‘Marx 200’ will be held at the School of Oriental and African Studies on 5 May 5th, in tandem with similar events all over the world. This comes at a time of renewed interest in Marx and his writings, particularly among young people. As Marx famously said - ‘The philosophers have only attempted to interpret the world the word in various ways. The point however, is to change it.’ ENDS 1 May, doors open at 10am, and close at 3pm, with last tours starting at 2.40pm 37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU Basic information The Marx Memorial Library (MML) is a library, archive and education charity. Our grade II listed building is set on historic Clerkenwell Green. We have a collection of over 50,000 books, pamphlets and archives on socialism and the history of the working-class movement and run educational events, courses and classes each week Founded in 1933, for over 80 years we have been dedicated to spreading knowledge and understanding of Marxism and the history of socialism. Our archive collections include material on anti-fascism, the peace movement and radical press and printing. The MML makes our collections available to researchers in a reading room, produces publications including an annual journal Theory & Struggle and organises exhibitions, conferences, courses – both online and on-site – cultural events, workshops for school groups, book launches and much more.
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