The Raphael Samuel Archive

Raphael Samuel (1934-1996)Raphael Samuel (1934 -1996) left us the product of a lifetime of teaching, scholarship and political activity. Gifted in all these areas, he wrote, as his close friend Gareth Stedman Jones recalled, with 'the insight of a literary critic, the acuity of an anthropologist and the wit of a political journalist'. Consequently, the Raphael Samuel archive provides inspirational reading for the student, professional academic, enthusiastic amateur and cultural commentator alike. Raphael's was a democratic approach to history and his resistance to academic convention, his dismantling of academic and professional hierarchies make this a varied, fascinating and unique collection.

Raphael Samuel's publications and talks are nevertheless only one measure of his contribution to a wider historical culture. They represent only a fraction of his overall output that stretches back to the 1950s. A constant at these various 'interventions', at least according to Bill Schwarz, is that he would 'bring the archive with him', initially in brief cases or shopping bags and later a 'niftier array' of shoulder bags. Access to the Samuel archive now gives all researchers an opportunity to empty the contents of these bags and to rummage around. Inside is information on the important movements and generations contemporary to Raphael but also illsutration of his extraordinary working methods.

Please click on the links below to further explore information about Raphael Samuel and his collection at Bishopsgate Library.