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Conservative Party Archive: Printed and Published Material: Election leaflets and handbills

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Included in this series are leaflets, handbills, and car stickers etc, printed and circulated as part of national Conservative Party campaigns (i.e, for nationwide local, general and European election campaigns), rather than election literature printed and circulated within individual constituencies.

Material dating up to 1968, comprising leaflets and handbills issued by Conservative Central Office and the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations and their successors, was formerly bound into a series of roughly chronological volumes by Conservative Central Office in order of publication date, together with pamphlets and occasionally posters. In 2011 these volumes were dismantled to enable the pamphlets and posters to be catalogued separately, and conservation work to be carried out on the leaflets. Fom the late 1960s but particularly since the 1980s, additional leaflets received by the Conservative Party Archive have come in the form of direct mailing samples sent out to potential voters. These have not yet been catalogued, but will be included in an updated version of this catalogue in due course.

Dates

  • 1880-1968

Extent

27 shelfmarks

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

General access conditions apply to this material

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. PUB 24/1].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

PUB 24-PUB 86

Collection ID (for staff)

CPA PUB D

Overview

Printed and Published Material: Conservative Party election leaflets, 1880-1968.

Biographical / Historical

The Conservative Party Archive (CPA) preserves the records of the Conservative Party’s central and national organisations (primarily what were formerly known before recent changes of name as Conservative Central Office and the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations) along with certain regional records. It is recognised by the Conservative Party as the official repository for its historic records and those of affiliated organisations, and receives new material on a regular basis.

The CPA was established as a source for academic study at the Bodleian Library in 1978 by an agreement made between the University of Oxford and the Conservative Party, and brought together surviving historic papers of the Party previously held in various locations including Newcastle University Library and the former Conservative Central Office in Smith Square, London. Since 1996, ownership and financial responsibility for the CPA has been vested in the Conservative Party Archive Trust.

Papers held in the Archive represent all three areas of Party organisation: elected, through the papers of the 1922 Committee, Shadow Cabinet and Chief Whip’s Office; voluntary, through the papers of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations (including its Provincial Councils), and its successor the National Conservative Convention; and professional, through the working files of the Conservative Research Department, Conservative Central Office (including its Area Offices) and its successor, Conservative Campaign Headquarters and their many departments and committees. With few exceptions the Archive does not generally hold the private papers of individuals; rather it holds papers created by them in the course of carrying out their official Party duties. Although the parliamentary party constitutes the longest-established element of Conservative Party organisation, dating back to the Tory grouping in the House of Commons of the 17th century, the papers of the National Union are by far the oldest in the Archive, with a virtually unbroken series of minutes dating back to 1867. Conservative Central Office was established in 1870, but many records were lost to salvage drives during the War, and a number of moves by Central Office since led to the destruction of still more, particularly from the period before 1939. As a result, the archive consists predominantly of post-Second World War material. The records of the Conservative Research Department, housed separately from Conservative Central Office until 1979, date back to its foundation in 1929.

Custodial History

The Conservative Party Archive (CPA) was established as a source for academic study at the Bodleian Library in 1978 by an agreement made between the University of Oxford and the Conservative Party, and brought together surviving historic papers of the Party previously held in various locations including Newcastle University Library and the former Conservative Central Office in Smith Square, London. Since 1996, ownership and financial responsibility for the CPA has been vested in the Conservative Party Archive Trust. The CPA preserves the records of all three areas of Party organisation: parliamentary, voluntary and professional. It is recognised by the Conservative Party as the official repository for its historic records and those of affiliated organisations, and receives new material on a regular basis.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Conservative Party.

Related Materials

Leaflets produced for parliamentary by-elections:

Samples of election literature produced for specific parliamentary by-elections, may be found with the file(s) relating to those by-elections, which can be found in the following series:
  1. By-elections, 1949-1970: see series CCO 500/18
  2. By-elections, 1952-1963: see series CCO 120/2
  3. By-elections, 1965-1989: see series CCO 20/55
  4. By-elections, 1965-1973: see series CRD 3/43
  5. By-elections, 1974-1979: see series CRD 4/34
Election Aids and locally adapted election leaflets:

Sample packs of election literature, sometimes called 'Election Aids', which often included template designs for local adaptation, were produced by the Organisation Department at Conservative Central Office (for general elections) and by the Local Government Department (for local election campaigns) and have been listed in the respective catalogues of those departments' records. Cross-references to them have been included below:-
  1. 1970 General Election: see shelfmark: CCO 500/24/295
  1. 1955 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/1
  2. 1956 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/2
  3. 1957 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/3
  4. 1958 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/4
  5. 1959 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/5
  6. 1960 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/6
  7. 1966 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/7-8 and CCO 130/3/1/11
  8. 1967 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/12 and CCO 130/5/16
  9. 1968 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/14
  10. 1969 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/15
  11. 1970 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/16
  12. 1972 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/19
  13. 1973 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/21
  14. 1977 local elections: see shelfmark: CCO 130/3/1/22
Election addresses (parliamentary elections only):

For Election Addresses issued by individual MPs and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates of all parties, for all constituencies, for all general elections and by-elections since 1922, see separate catalogue PUB/F.

For other election literature, see catalogues:
  1. PUB/G: General election publications (including manifestos)
  2. PUB/L: European election publications
  3. PUB/K: Local election publications
  4. CPA Posters: Election posters
Title
Conservative Party Archive: Published Material
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jeremy McIlwaine
Date
2018
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Contact:
Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom