Conservative Party Archive: Printed and Published Material: Election leaflets and handbills
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.
- Creation: 1880-1968
Language of Materials
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. PUB 24/1].
Full range of shelfmarks:
PUB 24-PUB 86
Collection ID (for staff)
CPA PUB D
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.
The archive of the Conservative Party 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 of the archive has been vested in the Conservative Party Archive Trust. The archive includes records from all three areas of Party organisation: parliamentary, voluntary and professional.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Conservative Party.
- Conservative Party | Conservative Central Office (Organisation)
- Conservative Party | National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations (Organisation)
- Conservative Party (Organisation)
- Conservative Party Archive: Published Material
- Finding aid prepared by Jeremy McIlwaine
- Language of description
- Script of description