About this Archive
('Jim') (1918-2010) historian and teacher
Jim Fyrth (1918-2010) taught for many years at Birkbeck College, University of London, in its Department for Extra Mural Studies. During the Second World War he served in the army, when he was jailed for six months after being caught reading “banned literature”, namely Communist Party pamphlets and the Daily Worker. For a good part of the war, he was stationed in India. This resulted, years later, in a wartime autobiography, `An Indian Landscape’, which was published by the Socialist History Society, This contains his account of the meeting with Gandhi, which made a great impression on him.
In the post-war period, he was active in the Communist Party in West London and in Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. For a period, his role as a teacher and historian was directed towards courses for trades unionists. He was involved in the Communist Party Historians’ Group and, in more recent years, the Socialist History Society. Fryth’s book `The Signal Was Spain: The Spanish Aid Movement in Britain, 1936-39’ was published in 1986.
Scope and Content
Papers of historian and teacher Jim Fyrth (1918-2010), including:
- Lecture notes on various political topics, 1964-1984.
- Press cuttings, reviews and correspondence regarding Fyrth's various publications, particularly 'The Signal was Spain' and 'An Indian Landscape', 1960-1994.
- Research materials on peace movements, the 1930s, CND, William Morris, fascism and anti-fascism, 1930-1989.
- Correspondence with other historians and activists, and press cuttings, reviews and papers regarding their work, 1936-2010.