The Refugee Council Archive at the University of East London represents one of the largest collections of materials relating to the study of forced migration and the refugee. It is a source of information and analysis on displacement, flight and exile; on legal, political and social issues; and on refugee community life.
The Archive contains materials on refugees in all parts of the world, with special emphasis on Britain. It was originally housed at the Refugee Council, the lead organization in Britain on refugee issues. For over 30 years the Refugee Council collected official and unofficial reports, books and journals, newsletters, conference proceedings, research documents, field reports, informal data, and working papers. It also developed an extensive library of press cuttings. In addition to this Special Collection, the Archive also contains archival material recording the history of the Refugee Council as an organisation.
A history of the development of the Refugee Council itself can be found here.
In support of this, the Archive also contains:
- The UNHCR Audio-Visual Archive. This donation includes the UNHCR Slide and Photographic Library which incorporates over thirty boxes of slides and photographs produced by the UNHCR and covering both historical and more recent refugee issues. In addition to this vastly important collection of images, we have also received the donation of a large selection of Videos and DVD from the UNHCR, which we are currently concerting to DVD.
- The Northern Refugee Centre. The Northern Refugee Centre was established during 1983 and is now based in Sheffield. The Archive contains a range of published and unpublished materials including reports, conference papers publications, grey literature and press cuttings.
- Charter 87. The Charter 87 Archive was very kindly donated to UEL in late July 2007 by a former director of the organisation. The archive collection itself consists of approximately 3 feet of shelf space. Incorporated within this are minutes of the Charter 87 Steering Group; records of correspondence predominantly with the Home Office; records of the organisation’s newsletter and occasional publications and files of press cuttings relating to asylum seekers and refugees.
Descriptions for all current UEL Archival Collections can be found on both the Archives Hub and AIM25 websites. In conjunction witht he Archives Hub, the University’s archive lisitings are also now available via the Archives Portal Europe website and, as a seperate project, on the United Nations History Project website.