London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

1958 - 2012

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Contains business records including correspondence files, submitted manuscripts and photographs relating to published and unpublished authors, poets and artists. Also included are records of associated publishing organisations founded by Eric and Jessica Huntley.

    Also includes personal records of Lionel and Pansy Jeffrey (from 1958) (LMA/4462/P) and Andrew Salkey (LMA/4462/Q) which were given to Eric and Jessica Huntley.

    Please see the separate introductions to each section of the catalogue for further information.

    Please note copyright is held in some instances by third party. Please contact LMA for further details.

    [NOTE: the following remains uncatalogued - please contact staff for further information: correspondence and related invitations and other papers where Eric and Jessica Huntley were representing their business at publishing events. Includes:
    Bookshop, outreach and events administration
    Distribution and advertising papers
    Networking and business contacts and invitations
    Also collected material on other bookfairs, publishers, literary events and book launches.]
Extent: 24.2 linear metres
Classification: BUSINESSES
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • The company was founded in 1969 by Eric Huntley (b 1929) and his wife Jessica (nee Carroll) Huntley (1927-2013), Black political activists and publishers, who have played a prominent role in the Black Caribbean community, along with friends and associates. Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications Limited was incorporated as a company limited by shares on 25 July 1974.

    The Huntleys emigrated from British Guiana, now Guyana, to London in 1957-1958. They met Dr Walter Rodney (1942 - 1980), Guyanese academic historian, political activist and author in London during 1960s when he was studying for his doctorate at the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1968 the Jamaican government banned Rodney for his radical Marxist philosophy, and for teaching students and Rastafarians about the intellectual, sociological and military prowess of ancient African civilisations. The resulting 'Rodney Riots' triggered a growing consciousness of Black Power, Pan-Africanism and political awareness on a global scale.

    In reaction to the ban, the Huntleys with others mobilised support and arranged printing and street distribution of Rodney's lectures. They also founded Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications Limited in 1969, named in honour of Toussaint L'Ouverture of Haiti and Paul Bogle, both figure heads of Black rebellion against the slave trade in Caribbean history. The firm was used as a political weapon to spread Rodney's works further afield and tell the truth behind the banning of Walter Rodney. The first published book was the collection of lectures on the history of Black people and Africa, 'The Groundings with My Brothers'. They recognised this as key action to stop the voice of Black history from being silenced and to disseminate it to as wide an audience as possible. This was followed by Andrew Salkey's 'One Love'. The second book by Walter Rodney, 'How Europe Underdeveloped Africa', was published in 1972. It is a seminal work in the history of the European encounter with Africa and the post-colonial liberation struggles written from a Black perspective. This second publication was reprinted four times and in several languages. After the initial printing, print runs were in excess of 20,000 copies. Howard University bought the American rights and it became an essential university text. Following Rodney's murder in Guyana in 1980, the Huntleys kept his legacy alive by renaming their bookshop the Walter Rodney Bookshop and organising publ ic memorials and anniversary lectures in his name.

    Accabre Huntley, Eric and Jessica's third child and only daughter, was born in the year the Huntleys founded Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications Limited and as such the period of Accabre's childhood and early adulthood was intensely influenced by the vibrant activities of her parents' bookshop, publishing house and the innovative movements they were part of.

    As a published poet of Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications Limited Accabre participated in the literary and cultural spheres her parents were involved in from a very young age, giving poetry readings, leading workshops and attending demonstrations. Andrew Salkey wrote of "Acca" as a "conscious child" and several documents in both the Huntleys' business and personal archive reveal the much-loved sentiment friends, authors, colleagues and associates of the Huntleys expressed towards Accabre; often referring to her as the embodiment of informed black-British youth which concerned black adults were trying to encourage.

    The company has been committed to discovering, promoting and disseminating Black history and Black contributions to the world in academic, educational, creative and social fields. They took a strong political stance to achieve this and initiate change in England and globally throughout the Diaspora. In addition to published books, the company published greeting cards and posters of artwork depicting Black people (Bogle-L'Ouverture's very first publications were posters by Ras Daniel Heartman), operated a bookshop and ran workshops and events. Events and workshops were held with other organisations including Commonplace, Brent Leisure and Unity Books. They also promoted the work of Black American authors with readings at the Walter Rodney Bookshop. In 1984 the firm described itself as 'specialists in books from and about the Caribbean, Africa, Afro-America, Asia, [as well as] posters, greeting cards, African arts and crafts' (LMA/4462/E/06/004).

    Initially the Huntleys operated a book service from their front room at their home. Teachers, parents and children came to their house for books. This expanded to book exhibitions in schools and local teacher centres. Sales catalogues gave people access to a variety of titles (in addition to the company's publications) sourced from America and the Caribbean through Bogle-L'Ouverture Bookshop (later Walter Rodney Bookshop). Villiers Publications were Bogle's main printers from 1970 onwards (LMA/4462/B/04/01/011). Central Books were the London based distributor for all Bogle books. Books, posters and greeting cards were also sold via Bogle L'Ouverture Publications, P O Box 122, Kingston 7, Jamaica. Sangster's Book Stores Limited became the main distributor for Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. Ewart Thomas set up a bank account in California for the distribution of Bogle books in United States of America. Arthur Paris, a Professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, also acted as an agent to distribute Bogle books in North America.

    The bookshop became a focal point for Black academics and artists visiting London from around the globe. Once established it became a venue for workshops, readings and lectures and the promotion of positive representations of Black people. The life of the publishing house was intertwined with the concerns of the community and reflected their problems, achievements and ambitions. The name of the bookshop became synonymous with campaigns for justice and equality. Campaigns and organisations which were supported and/or created by the Huntleys included Bookshop Joint Action, the Radical Black Book Fairs, Greater Access to Publishing, and other non-publishing initiatives including Black Parents Movement and related campaigns against police harassment, the underachievement of Black children in the school system and Supplementary Schools, and international campaigns such as Committee Against Repression in Guyana, the killing of Mikey Smith, poet in Jamaica and against Apartheid in South Africa.

    The company became financially unstable and went into liquidation in 1991. In the same year Bogle-L'Ouverture Press Limited was incorporated after the closure of Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications Limited and relaunched in 1993. The catalogues state that, 'Like its predecessor, the Press is committed to promoting an independent and strong voice; one with which we can set our own agenda. The Press aims to provide a window on the world of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and other countries which are euphemistically known as the Third World.'

    The company attracted a group of active supporters of artists, writers, teachers, students, parents and academics who shared a similar world view. Some of these later became members of Friends of Bogle. This group published works and organised events in order to raise funds to further the work of Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications.

    In 1971 the Huntleys moved from 110 Windermere Road, Ealing to 141 Coldershaw Road, West Ealing and operated the business and bookselling from their front room. When the business grew and opposition came from neighbours, they rented premises opening Bogle-L'Ouverture Bookshop at 5A Chignell Place, West Ealing in 1975. This was renamed Walter Rodney Bookshop in 1980 and continued to run until 1990. The publishing business continued to be operated from 141 Coldershaw Road from 1990.

    For further details see 'Doing nothing is not an option. The Radical Lives of Eric and Jessica Huntley' by Margaret Andrews edited by Margaret Busby. Published by Krik Krak 2013 [added to LMA Library June 2014]

    See also 'The Huntleys' and 'The Huntley Archives' articles in 'Community: An Intersectional Magazine celebrating Culture, Heritage and Diversity' Issue 1 pages 60-71 (Spring/Summer 2017) [added to LMA Library June 2017]

    See also entry for Jessica Huntley published January 2017 on the 'Oxford Dictionary of National Biography' which can be seen here: <>
Creator: Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications Ltd | specialists in books from and about the Caribbean, Africa, Afro-America and Asia
Custodial History: Initially a Bogle-L'Ouverture Archiving Project was formed in 2002, following Eric and Jessica Huntley's concerns regarding the future preservation and access to their archives. Members of this predecessor group included Maureen Roberts and Dr Harry Goulbourne. Eric and Jessica Huntley's aim was to provide their own centre in their local area in Ealing for the consultation of their archives. Unfortunately this dream could not be fulfilled and the Huntleys, wishing to make their collections accessible to the wider community began exploring alternative options, first with a South London university and finally through deposit with LMA. The relationship between LMA and the Huntleys germinated through the friendship with Yinnon Ezra of Hampshire County Council sought advice from the Head Archivist of Hampshire Record Office as to options for the Huntleys' archives.

The Huntleys' belief in the power of the written word and importance of history in education, is a key factor which motivated them to preserve these records for wider use by depositing them with LMA. Eric and Jessica Huntley committed to a sustained involvement in helping promote the use of archives in supporting community involvement and learning. Annual Huntley conferences held at LMA have showcased the value of archives and have attracted new audiences.

For discourse on the deposit of the archives based on an interview with Richard Wiltshire, Senior Archivist see paper:
'New frameworks for community engagement in the archive sector: from handing over to handing on' by Mary Stevens, Andrew Flinn and Elizabeth Shepherd. Pages 67-84 in 'Heritage and Community Engagement: Collaboration or Contestation'. Ed. by Emma Waterton and Steve Watson. Published by Routledge 2010.
Copyright: Copyright to these records rests with the depositors Third party
Source of Acquisition:
  • Their archive collections were the first deposit from the African-Caribbean community to be made to the London Metropolitan Archives, in 2005 with additional deposits since that time (see LMA/4463/C/06 for the Huntley Archives Advisory Group which has overseen work on the collections since their deposit).
  • B05/016
  • B05/017
  • B05/020
  • B07/021
  • B08/040
  • B10/057
  • B10/091
  • B10/106
  • B11/036
  • B13/006
  • B13/045
  • B14/006
  • B09/099
  • B08/166
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 2018
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: The records are arranged as follows:

LMA/4462/A Corporate
LMA/4462/B Accounts and Sales
LMA/4462/C Published Authors, Poets and Artists
LMA/4462/D Submission
LMA/4462/E Publications and Printed Material
LMA/4462/F Bookshop and author events and photographs
LMA/4462/G (number not used)
LMA/4462/H Friends of Bogle
LMA/4462/I Ananse Society
LMA/4462/J Bookshop Joint Action Committee
LMA/4462/K Caribbean Biographical Project
LMA/4462/L Greater Access to Publishing
LMA/4462/M International Bookfair of Radical Black and Third World Books
LMA/4462/N Salkey Score Committee
LMA/4462/O Torch Publishing Co-op
LMA/4462/P Jeffrey, Lionel and Pansy (donated papers)
LMA/4462/Q Salkey, Andrew (donated papers)
LMA/4462/R Walter Rodney Memorial Trust
LMA/4462/S African Caribbean and Minorities 2000 Cooperative
Related Material: There was much fluidity between the work of the publishing house and the political campaigning and community work in which the Huntleys were involved. These activities were related to and supported each other. Their personal and business papers were housed together. See LMA/4463 for other businesses campaigns, politics and personal records.

For sources on Walter Rodney please see LMA Information Leaflet Number 35: 'Researching Walter Rodney in the Huntley archives'. See also LMA Information Leaflet Number 21: 'Black Caribbean Community Archives at London Metropolitan Archives'.

Walter Rodney’s Personal Archives are held at Robert W. Woodruff Library:
In 2004 Walter Rodney’s family donated his papers to the Robert L Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center, Atlanta, United States of America.
The Walter Rodney Papers, 1960-1987 provide insight into Rodney’s life as a scholar and an activist. The papers include correspondence, speeches, published and unpublished writings, teaching materials, audio tapes of speeches, lectures, interviews, and a few photographs.

See also BTWSA's 'NARM (Naming and Role Models): Highlighting African British Male Role Models 1907-2007' interview with Eric Huntley (LMA/4569/01/01/003-004)

See also: 'Caribbean Transnational Experience' by Professor Harry Goulbourne, chair of the Huntley Archives Advisory Group. Chapter 6, "Having a Public Voice: Caribbean Publishers and Diasporic Communications", discusses the history of Bogle L'Ouverture Press in detail. Published by Pluto Press, Arawale Publications (2002). Available at London Metropolitan Archives: Reference: LMA Store 20.171/GOU.

'Aspect of Modern British Literature. Andrew Salkey - In Search of An Identity' a Thesis originally written in 1981 and updated 2012, by Beverly Cuffy [LMA Library: acquired Mar 2012].

'Windrush: the irresistible rise of multi-racial Britain' by Phillips, Mike and Phillips, Trevor. 1998 (LMA Library: 20.16/PHI) contains interviews with Eric and Jessica Huntley.

See also George Padmore Institute collections relating to New Beacon Books and John La Rose, who worked closely with the Huntleys and their business. The George Padmore Institute, 76 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EN.
'Unending Journey: Selected Writings' by John La Rose. Publisher: New Beacon Books Ltd (2014) [LMA Library: added for addition in December 2014, available 2015]

The archives of the Institute of Race Relations include a 'Black History Collection'. These are held by the Institute of Race Relations, 2-6 Leeke Street, London WC1X 9HS.

The archives of Centerprise, Kingsland High Street, Dalston, Hackney are held at Bishopsgate Institute. The archives have been celebrated in 'A Hackney Autobiography: Remembering Centerprise' a project running between 2014-2016. For further details visit: [correct as of 5 April 2016]

Publication Notes:

For further details see:

Andrews, Margaret: 'Doing nothing is not an option. The Radical Lives of Eric and Jessica Huntley' edited by Margaret Busby. Published by Krik Krak 2013 [LMA Library: 20.171 AND]

Cumberbatch, Malcolm: 'Swimming Against the Tide: A powerful story of their struggles against colonialism, racism and injustice. Celebrating 50 years of Bogle L'Ouverture'. Published by Malcolm Cumberbatch 2019 [LMA Library: Pamphlet 20.171 CUM]

Mason, Beverley and Busby, Margaret: 'No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960 - 1990'. London: Friends of the Huntley Archives (FHALMA) (2018) [20.171 FHA]

Roberts, Maureen: 'The Huntley Archives at London Metropolitan Archives' in 'The Future of Literary Archives: Diasporic and Dispersed Collections at Risk', pages 33-41. Edited by David C Sutton and Ann Livingstone. Amsterdam University Press / Arc Humanities Press,
2017 [60.8 SUT].