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Time periods: 1956-1976
The growing disillusionment of the electorate with both Conservative and Labour parties, and their inability to reverse decades of economic decline, provided Liberalism with renewed hope. Its popular new leader, Jo Grimond, together with spectacular by-election victories, and a new policy agenda, including support for UK entry to Europe, gave the party a new public profile. Although successive electoral revivals in the end petered out, the new concept of community politics was helping to build Liberal support at the grassroots.

History (8)
Biographies (12)
Journal articles (52)
Events (14)
Archives: libraries (9)
Archives: individuals (4)
PhD theses (12)
Research (2)

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History
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A concise history of the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are the successors to two important reformist traditions in British politics - those of liberalism and of social democracy, which became separated from each other in the early p...

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National Sound Archive

The National Sound Archive at the British Library holds various recordings of key Liberal figures. ...

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Realignment of the left

The end of Jo Grimond's leadership in 1967 heralded a bleak period for the Liberal Party. His successor, Jeremy Thorpe, was never assured of the complete confidence of his parliamentary colleagu...

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The Liberals and Ireland since 1801

Underneath the surface of this [Irish question], and wrapped up in it, are nearly all the controversies of principle which will agitate the political atmosphere of our time. It is a microcosm of the ...

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Grimond and the first post-war revival

The apogee of two-party politics in the UK was reached in the 1950s. At the 1955 election, the Conservative and Labour parties, and their allies, between them took 96.10 per cent of the vote and 98.7...

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Community politics

Community Politics describes a particular style of locally organised campaigning on specifically local issues pioneered by the Liberal Party in the 1950s and 1960s and now practised by Liberal Democr...

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Great Liberals

John Stuart Mill chosen as greatest British Liberal ...

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Old heroes for a new leader

As we have done in each of the last two Liberal Democrat leadership elections, in 1999 and 2006, the Liberal Democrat History Group has asked both candidates for the Liberal Democrat leadership to wr...

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Biographies
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Biography of MP; Baron Grimond of Firth Jo Grimond


Grimond, Jo (Lord Grimond)

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Biography of MP; Baron Steel of Aikwood David Steel


Steel, David (Lord Steel)

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Biography of MP Jeremy Thorpe


Thorpe, Jeremy

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Biography of Baron Dahrendorf Ralf Gustav Dahrendorf


Dahrendorf, Ralf (Lord Dahrendorf)

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Biography of Elliot Dodds


Dodds, Elliot

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Biography of MP Michael Meadowcroft


Meadowcroft, Michael

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Biography of Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury Violet Bonham Carter


Bonham Carter, Violet

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Biography of Sir MP Dingle Foot


Foot, Dingle

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Biography of MP; Baron Jenkins of Hillhead Roy Jenkins


Jenkins, Roy (Lord Jenkins)

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Biography of MP; Baron Maclennan of Rogart Robert Maclennan


Maclennan, Robert (Lord Maclennan)

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Biography of MP; Baroness Williams of Crosby Shirley Williams


Williams, Shirley (Lady Williams)

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Biography of Sir MP Clement Freud


Freud, Sir Clement

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Journal articles
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1959-74: years of Liberal revolution?

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 14 - Special issue: The Liberal revival ')


Introduction to this special issue on the Liberal postwar revival.

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Report: The origins of community politics

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 4 ')


Report of LDHG meeting of June 1994 - a witness seminar on the origins of community politics, with Gordon Lishman

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Third Party Politics Since 1945

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 2 ')


Review of John Stevenson, Third Party Politics Since 1945: Liberals, Alliance and Liberal Democrats

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Report: why didn't the Liberal Party die?

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 16 ')


Report of LDHG meeting of March 1997 on the near death and survival of the Liberal Party in the 1950s and '60s, with William Wallace.

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Not playing games

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 74 ')


The Young Liberals and anti-apartheid campaigns, 1968-70.

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Jo Grimond 1913-1993

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 80 ')


David Steel's commemoration lecture, given at Firth Kirk, Finstown, Orkney, 18 May 2013.

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Jo Grimond's leadership of the Liberal Party

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 14 - Special issue: The Liberal revival ')


'The personification and the hope of postwar Liberalism.' The record of Jo Grimond.

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Sheelagh Murnaghan and the Ulster Liberal Party

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 71 ')


The life and political career of the only Liberal to win a seat in the Northern Ireland parliament.

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Lord Rea

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal Democrat History 27 ')


The career of Philip Russell Rea, (1900-81), the Liberal leader in the Lords in the 1950s and 60s.

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Fighting Orpington

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 14 - Special issue: The Liberal revival ')


The stunning by-election victory of Orpington in 1962 was the high point of the first Liberal revival. Eric Lubbock (now Lord Avebury) was the candidate.

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Jo Grimond's Liberalism

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 8 ')


Review of Peter Joyce, Giving Politics a Good Name: A Tribute to Jo and Laura Grimond

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'Why I am a Liberal'

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 60 ')


The dynastic Liberalism of Michael and all the Foots.

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Re-establishing the faith

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 76 ')


The revival of Liberalism in Dumfriesshire, 1931-63.

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Young Liberals; the 'Red Guard' era

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal Democrat History 17 ')


The role of foreign policy issues in the growth of the Young Liberals in the 1960s and '70s.

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The lessons of Orpington

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 14 - Special issue: The Liberal revival ')


Analysis of the importance of the by-election result for the Liberal Party.

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1945-1964: The gory, gory years

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 7 ')


The survival and development of the Liberal Party in the post-war era.

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Liberals and local government in London since the 1970s

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 58 ')


Report of meeting of 4 February 2008, with Cllr Sir David Williams and Mike Tuffrey GLA.

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'Asking too much and offering too little'?

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 61 ')


The Conservative-Liberal coalition talks of 1-4 March 1974.

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Interview: Cyril Smith

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 64 ')


An interview with Sir Cyril Smith MBE, the larger-than-life former MP for Rochdale and Chief Whip.

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Archive: The Papers of Herbert Samuel at the Parliamentary Archives

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 65 ')




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God gave the land to the people

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 76 ')


The origins of the Liberal Land Song.

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'A nasty, deplorable little incident in our political life'

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 79 ')


Liberalism, National Liberalism and the editorship of the Dumfries Standard, 1957;

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The last Liberal imperialist

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal Democrat History 25 - Special issue: Crossing the Floor ')


Biography of Donald Johnson (1903-78), a self-styled 'political entrepreneur' who moved from the radical wing of the Liberal Party to become a Conservative MP.

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Abortion reform 1967

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 14 - Special issue: The Liberal revival ')


Memories of the battles over one of the key pieces of social reform legislation of the 1960s.

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Man of mystery: John Creasey

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 57 ')


The life of John Creasey (1908-73), Liberal candidate and author of almost 600 books.

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Report: Torrington '58 - Liberal survival and revival, 1945-79

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 61 ')


Report of full-day seminar, with LSE, 14 June 2008.

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Helen Suzman: An Appreciation

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 66 ')


Personal recollection of the life of South Africas first anti-apartheid MP.

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Swinging in the 60s to the Liberals

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 68 ')


Mary Murphy and Pontypridd Urban District Council.

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Russell Johnston

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 71 ')


Biography of this passionate and articulate exponent of Liberalism.

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Liberal roots

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 80 ')


The Liberal Party in a West Yorkshire constituency, 1920s-1970s.

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Elegant and concise

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 82 ')


Review of David Dutton, A History of the Liberal Party Since 1900 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd edition, 2013)

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The Sutton & Cheam by-election

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 14 - Special issue: The Liberal revival ')


The Sutton & Cheam by-election was won for the Liberal Party in December 1972. Jennifer Tankard interviews the victor, Graham (now Lord) Tope.

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The Left Foot

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 60 ')


Review of Kenneth O. Morgan, Michael Foot: A Life.

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Young Liberal influence and its effects, 1970-74

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 14 - Special issue: The Liberal revival ')


Young Liberals provided the Liberal Party with activists, candidates and radical ideas. This article examines the YL record of the early 1970s.

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The Suez crisis

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 53 ')


Report of meeting of 3 July 2006, with Professor Peter Barberis.

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Radical Reform Group

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 67 - Special issue: Liberals and the left ')


Examination of the group's formation, history and publications.

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Red Guard versus Old Guard? The influence of the Young Liberal movement on the Liberal Party in the 1960s and 1970s

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 68 ')


Report of meeting of 12 March 2010; with Matt Cole, Michael Steed, William Wallace, George Kiloh, and Bernard Greaves. Chair: Tony Greaves.

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Letters to the Editor

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 70 ')


Young Liberals (John Howe).

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Northern Liberal

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 66 ')


Review of Alan Beith, A View from the North (Northumbria University Press, 2008).

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'An out-of-date word'

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 67 - Special issue: Liberals and the left ')


Jo Grimond and the left.

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Comprehensive Liberal history

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 73 ')


Review of Robert Ingham and Duncan Brack (eds.), Peace, Reform and Liberation: A History of Liberal Politics in Britain 16792011.

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Whatever happened to 'Orpington Man'?

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 74 ')


Report of a Liberal Democrat History Group meeting at the National Liberal Club, 23 January 2012, with Dr Mark Egan and Professor Dennis Kavanagh.

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Liberal defectors identified and explored

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 82 ')


Review of Alun Wyburn-Powell, Defectors and the Liberal Party, 1910-2010: A Study of Inter-Party Relations (Manchester University
Press, 2012)

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Citizenship and democracy

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 53 ')


Review of Geoffrey Foote, The Republican Transformation of Modern British Politics

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In further search of 'Orpington Man'

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 74 ')


A response to the report on the Liberal Democrat History Group meeting about 'Orpington Man'.

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The Young Liberals and the left, 1965-70

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 67 - Special issue: Liberals and the left ')


The relationship between the Young Liberals and the left in the 1960s.

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Survival and revival

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 71 ')


Review of Egan, Coming into Focus: The Transformation of the Liberal Party 1945-1964.

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Policy and ideology

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 73 ')


Review of Tudor Jones, The Revival of British Liberalism - From Grimond to Clegg.

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A Cold War Witness

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal Democrat History 25 - Special issue: Crossing the Floor ')


Review of Christopher Mayhew: A Cold War Witness

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Review: A neglected party

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 64 ')


Review of Dutton, Liberals in Schism - A History of the National Liberal Party.

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Evolving the constitution

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 72 - Special issue: The Liberal experience of coalition government ')


Review of Vernon Bogdanor, The Coalition and the Constitution.

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Dissent over the airwaves

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 71 ')


Review of Johns, Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age.

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Events
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Jo Grimond - the legacy

Monday 10 June 2013

Jo Grimond, leader of the Liberal Party from 1956 to 1967, holds a particularly affectionate place in the collective memory of the Liberal Democrats. His charisma, charm, good looks, political courag...

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Whatever happened to 'Orpington Man'?

Monday 23 January 2012

The Orpington by-election of March 1962 was a political landmark: a stunning victory for Jo Grimond's Liberal Party, as Eric Lubbock turned a Conservative majority of 14,760 into a Liberal major...

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Peace, Reform and Liberation: launch of new Liberal history book

Monday 19 September 2011

Peace, Reform and Liberation is a comprehensive history of Liberal politics in Britain.
...

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Lords Reform 1911-2011

Friday 11 March 2011

The 1911 Parliament Act, introduced in the wake of the rejection by the House of Lords of Lloyd Georges Peoples Budget and the two general elections of 1910, was the first successful reform of the po...

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Red Guard versus Old Guard? The influence of the Young Liberal movement on the Liberal Party in the 1960s and 1970s a witness seminar

Friday 12 March 2010

In the 1960s and early 1970s the press coined the phrase the "Red Guard" to describe the radical politics of the youth wing of the Liberal Party. At the 1966 Party Conference in Brighton, t...

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Torrington '58: Liberal survival and revival, 1945-79

Saturday 14 June 2008

On 27 March 1958, Mark Bonham Carter, Asquiths grandson, won the Parliamentary by-election in the Devon seat of Torrington by a margin of just 219 votes.
...

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Liberals and local government in London since the 1970s

Monday 4 February 2008

Winning local elections has been a keystone in Liberal (Democrat) success in the years since the adoption of the community politics strategy at the Eastbourne Assembly in 1970. There have been many s...

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Civil liberties in war and peace

Monday 24 January 2005

Law and order has long been a major issue in British politics.
...

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Liberal Party General Election campaigns after 1945

Monday 3 February 2003

With David Butler, longstanding co-author and author of the acclaimed Nuffield General Election studies, and Neil Stockley, former Director of Policy, Liberal Democrats.
...

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The Legacy of Jo Grimond - Remembering Jo

Sunday 22 September 2002

There were many at the Brighton Conference who were in no doubt that if it wasnt for a young, charismatic party leader they would have no party at all.
...

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1974 Remembered

Sunday 19 September 1999

The two elections of 1974 formed a peak of the second post-war Liberal revival, giving the party six million votes but no more than fourteen MPs. Participants in the campaigns - including Tim Beaumon...

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Why didn't the Liberal Party Die? The first Liberal revival, 1959-66

Friday 7 March 1997

After almost thirty years of continuous decline, the leadership of Jo Grimond, and byelection and local election victories, seemed to herald a new era for the Liberal Party. Why did it all go wrong? ...

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Witness Seminar: The Origins of Community Politics

Tuesday 21 June 1994

Gordon Lishman discussed the background to the Eastbourne resolution of 1970, which first committed the Liberal Party to community politics. Topics covered included the electoral and campaigning cont...

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Survival in the Balance: The Liberal Party after 1945

Monday 17 September 1990

Dr Stevenson examined the history of the Liberal Party after 1945, and its attempt to carve out an identity for itself in a hostile political world. He explored the historical dimension of the contin...

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Archives: libraries
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BLPES

Liberal Party Archives at the London School of Economics (BLPES) ...

archive url: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/archive/
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Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Archive Collections relating to Liberal history at the Bodleian Library ...

archive url: http://www.ouls.ox.ac.uk/bodley/library/specialcollections
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Bristol University Library

The Liberal Party collections at the University of Bristol Library originate from the acquisition in 1976 of the Gladstone Library of the National Liberal Club ...

archive url: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/
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Coventry History Centre

Liberal Collections in the Archives ...

archive url: http://www.theherbert.org/index.php/home/history-centre
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Dundee City Archives

Liberal Collections at the Archives ...

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London Metropolitan Archives

The London Liberal Foundation and London Liberal Party records ...

archive url: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/lma
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Manchester Archives and Local Studies

Liberal History Archives at Manchester Archives and Local Studies ...

archive url: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/libraries/arls/
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National Library of Scotland

Sources in the Manuscripts Division of the National Library of Scotland for the study of the Liberals and Liberal Democrats ...

archive url: http://www.nls.uk/
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National Library of Wales

Liberal Party Archives at the National Library of Wales ...

archive url: http://www.llgc.org.uk/
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Archives: individuals
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Adrian Slade's interviews with leading party figures

...

archive url: http://www.markpack.org.uk/29338/adrian-slade-interviews/
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Beveridge, William

Beveridge's papers at London School of Economics ...

archive url: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/archives
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Sandelson, Neville

Sandelson's papers at London School of Economics ...

archive url: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/archives
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Wainwright, Richard (1918-2003) and Lord Steel (1938-)

Project to catalogue the papers of Richard Wainwright and Lord David Steel at London School of Economics Archives ...

archive url: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/archives
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PhD theses
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An analysis of the reform of the House of Lords, 1911-2000

Supervisor: Professor Vernon B. Bogdanor

Oxford University , 2006

Citation form:
D.Phil

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An analysis of voting patterns for the Liberal Party, with initial reference to the General Election of 1966


Southampton Ph.D. , 1978

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Clement Davies M.P. and the Liberal Party


Wales M.A. , 1976

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Jo Grimond's leadership of the Liberal party

Supervisor - Professor Ben Pimlott

London, Ph.D , 1997

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Seat-votes relationships in British general elections, 1955-97


Oxford, D.Phil , 2002

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The electoral strategy and tactics of the British Liberal Party, 1945-70


London Ph.D , 1990

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The grass-roots organization of the Liberal party, 1945-64

Supervisor - Dr. Michael W. Hart

Oxford, D.Phil , 2001

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The growth of third party support in Britain: a comparative study of the electoral bases for the Liberal and Scottish National Parties successes during the 1970s


London School of Economics Ph.D. , 1983

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The Liberal Party 1970 - 1983: its philosophy and political strategy


Leeds Ph.D. , 1999

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The Liberal Party in S.W. England, 1929-59


Exeter Ph.D. , 1995

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The making of Liberal Party policy, 1945-80


Reading Ph.D. , 1983

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The strange death of Labour England: collective provision and social cohesion in Southwark, 1950-2000

Supervisor - Professor Avner Offer

Oxford, M.Phil , 2002

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Research
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The Liberal Party in Wales, 1966-1988

Aims to follow the development of the party from the general election of 1966 to the time of the merger with the SDP. PhD research at Cardiff University.

Nick Alderton

Contact: nickalito@hotmail.com

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The Liberal Party's political communication, 1945-2002

Research on the Liberal party and Lib Dems' political communication. Any information welcome (including testimonies) about electoral campaigns and strategies.

Cynthia Boyer

Contact: CUFR Champollion, Place de Verdun, 81 000 Albi, France; +33 5 63 48 19 77; cynthia.boyer@univ-jfc.fr

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