Welcome to the Kate Sharpley Library

The Kate Sharpley Library exists to preserve and promote anarchist history. (More information.)

Everything at the Kate Sharpley Library - acquisitions, cataloguing, preservation work, publishing, answering enquiries is done by volunteers: we get no money from governments or the business community. All our running costs are met by donations from members of the collective, subscribers and supporters, or by the small income we make through publishing. Please consider donating and subscribing.

We also try to promote the history of anarchism by publishing studies based on those materials - or reprints of original documents taken from our collection. Check out our books and pamphlets available for sale or explore our online documents or browse back issues of our Bulletin.

Our physical library (in California) includes books, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts and ephemera documenting the history of anarchist movements. Contact us to arrange a visit.

Recent news

May 2022 Kate Sharpley Library Bulletin online

KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 105, May 2022 has just been posted on our site. https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/31zf3c The PDF is up at https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/mw6p4g

Question and answer on Anarchism [Anti-Imperialism] by Albert Meltzer "Whenever we see the word ‘anti-imperialism’ nowadays we sniff at it carefully before opening the package, not as one would for explosives, but to see if the milk has gone sour. " https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/k0p4ff
Library update (May 2022) "As you might expect, other people have been busy digging away at anarchist history too." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/2281t9
Bessie Kimmelman: fragments of an anarchist life "No doubt more fragments of her life are waiting to be found!" https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/jdfpvs
The Makhnovshchina and Its Aftermath: Documents from the movement and its survivors [Book review] "Black Cat Press have (again) added to what we know about the Makhnovist movement." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/j3v02p
Alternatives to suicide by Albert Meltzer "In 1980 Cienfuegos Press published Towards a citizens’ militia: anarchist alternatives to NATO & the Warsaw Pact. Various politicians complained. An earlier article in Black Flag declared ‘to be attacked by these people is like having the Good House­keeping seal of approval.’ (v.6, n.3, June 1980) Here Albert probes the motives behind their fear of the idea of popular self-defence and speculates on what they would have done if Hitler had successfully invaded Britain. Would they really kill themselves rather than collaborate?" https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/12jnj6
Ken Williams [a tribute from Hastings] by Alex Price "The character me and my friends knew was probably semi-unrecognisable from the anarcho-syndicalist legend of 1980s London, although we knew he was in there." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/8sf944

March 2022 Kate Sharpley library non-bulletin online

NOT the bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library, No.8 March 2022 is now up. Read it at https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/vt4d8z
Chummy Fleming and Other treasures
Anarchist lives (Riojan Involvement in Guerrilla Groups in France and Spain; Vladimir Barmash; Ethel MacDonald; Lev Cherny; Francisco Ponzán Vidal; Carmelo Romero Ortega
Friends and neighbours (Support the Fundación Anselmo Lorenzo; The Idea: Anarchist Communism, Past, Present, and Future; the Sparrows’ Nest; Crocenera Anarchica; and 'razorblades and anti-fascist folklore')

November 2021 Kate Sharpley Library Bulletin online

KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 104, November 2021 has just been posted on our site. https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/cjt05t The PDF is up at: https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/2548rq

“An Affirmation of that for which I have fought.”, book review by Barry Pateman of “Salvador Puig Antich: Collected Writings on Repression and Resistance in Franco’s Spain.” Edited by Ricard de Vargas Golarons and translated by Peter Gelderloos. "The importance of this moving and informative book is to allow us to see Puig Antich as much more than a victim. It allows us to place him as part of a rich movement seeded by working-class militancy which was constantly assessing just how we can defeat capitalism and create a better world."https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/66t2x1
Two faces, two lives (anarchist mugshots of the 1890s) "We have just posted two biographies illustrated by mugshots by Alphonse Bertillon." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/ghx55v
Bastard, Elisée Joseph Michel aka ‘Francois Pichancourt’ "According to Rudolf Rocker who was living in Saint Denis in 1894 and who had been introduced to him by Jean Wollmann, Bastard was then ‘one of the best known orators at that time and an excellent comrade’."https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/905s00
Maria Zanini (1865-?) When on trial "Knows nothing and never as much as saw the faces of people who arrived to doss in her home"https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/crjg30
Jacinto Lives! Memories from St. Louis (a tribute from A few sad anarchists in St. Louis) "We spent only a handful of days with this funny, inquisitive, warm-hearted man. He defied all our stereotypes of an academic historian, and left a deep impression on us." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/c2fsjs
Tribute to Ross (Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty and the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh) "Please keep him in your thoughts as a wonderful comrade, activist and person who never sought the limelight or to promote himself but rather made an enormous contribution, without claiming any credit for it." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/fttgmm
Young Rebels against the Empire: the youth memoirs of Nestor Makhno & Voldemar Antoni [Book Review] "To have uncovered and translated these memoirs is good work in itself, but Archibald is ever ready to aid the reader with maps, a glossary and footnotes. He is also able to point out the stories from his youth that Makhno does not tell..." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/m37rkh
Library News (Nov. 2021) "American readers can now get hold of: A Life for Anarchy: A Stuart Christie Reader edited by the KSL. We’ll let you know when it arrives in the UK."https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/34tp34

Tributes to Ken Williams (1953-2020)

Ken Williams (1953-2020) was an Anarcho-syndicalist and militant anti-fascist. We have just posted a series of tributes from comrades who knew him in London and, later, in Hastings. You can read them at https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/pvmfhn

September 2021 Kate Sharpley Library Bulletin online

KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 103, September 2021 has just been posted on our site. https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/2281s4 The PDF is up at: https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/1vhjzb

Remembering Stuart Christie, one year on. "It’s nearly a year since our friend and comrade Stuart Christie died. We’ve posted a handful of his writings to mark the anniversary." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/k0p4c3
Remembering Albert. "We have posted a couple of items which show different aspects of Albert’s life." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/6q58k6
Anarchism in North East England 1882-1992 [review] "This is a big book, but don’t let that put you off, it’s a great piece of history from below." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/3txbjp
Pietro Ferrua (1930-2021) by Marianne Enckell "This founding father of the CIRA died in Portland, Oregon, USA on 28 July 2021." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/2v6z8n
Rachel Hui-Chi Hsu. “Emma Goldman, ‘Mother Earth’ and the Anarchist Awakening” [Book review] by Barry Pateman "Through the work of Hsu we appreciate Goldman as a conscious anarchist and thinker who is part of a wider anarchist movement that is in constant reaction to the world around them." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/tqjrzs
Oppositions: some anarchist writings of Ida Mett [Book review] "Much of these writings contain sparks of hope at a time when darkness appeared to be suffocating anarchists and their ideas." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/kh1b18
Insurrection: The Bloody Events of May 1937 in Barcelona [Book review] "Insurrection is a vital contribution to Spanish Civil War history. It’s also a critical examination of what revolutions do and what they need." https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/jwswhw