This is a brief post to promote the relaunched and rebooted Irish Left Archive put together by the people at The Cedar Lounge Revolution blog. An explanation of the reboot can be found here, but essentially the CLR people are launching the Irish Left Archive as a stand-alone website to be added to weekly. At the moment, there are over 300 documents (downloadable in pdf format) on the left in Ireland/Northern Ireland and by the British left on Ireland/Northern Ireland, alongside commentaries of each document, and this will be growing!
This is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in the history of the left and the Irish/Northern Irish politics and much of this history has yet to be written. The people at CLR wrote this about this point:
Collectively all these sites are building into something that has never been possible before, easy, free and open access to our history with little or no mediation by others allowing us all to view, read and make up our own minds about these materials. Recently I noted how many yard ago in conversation with a then WP (later DL) TD I mentioned that it would be good to get a history of the Irish left written. The response wasn’t exactly positive, but that’s not the point. That project, in book format, remains to be done, but in a way this is better, more wide ranging and more collective and individual way of achieving that end.
As the CLR blog notes, the history of the Irish left remains unwritten and as I wrote in a previous post, it is a similar story for the history of the British left’s relationship with Ireland/Northern Ireland. So labour/political historians, I implore you to use this valuable database!