London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

194- - 2012

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Personal records of Eric and Jessica Huntley relating to non-publishing businesses, political campaigns, community and heritage initiatives, education work, concerns with the environment in the Caribbean and papers relating to their personal lives including family and friends.

    Please see individual sections for further information.

    Please note copyright is held in some instances by third party. Please contact LMA for further details.
Extent: 6.5 linear metres
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • Jessica Huntley and Eric Huntley, radical book publishers and pioneering Black political activists have been prolifically involved with the British African - Caribbean community's experience from their first arrival in England in 1956 to the first decade of the twenty-first century.

    For over 50 years the Huntley's participated in many of the significant grassroots campaigns for racial and social justice that occurred on the national and international scene including the black supplementary schools movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the Black Parents Movement which campaigned against the controversial 'Sus' laws and organised legal defence for black and Asian people arrested during the Southall riots of 1979, the New Cross Massacre Action Committee, organiser of the 1981 Black People's Day of Action march that attracted 20,000 black Britons from all over the country and was the largest protest march of black Britons to take place in Britain, and patronage of the Keskidee Centre, Britain's first Afro-Caribbean cultural centre from the 1970s to the 1990s.

    The Huntleys were also active in international campaigns to end the South African apartheid regime, political repression in their home country Guyana and free American, former Black Panther and radio journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal who was on death row in Pennsylvania. Their publishing house Bogle L'Ouverture Publications Limited (see LMA/4462) published landmark texts by Walter Rodney and Bernard Coard. They have been highly respected within the black community as elders for their longstanding commitment, contribution and participation in radical movements and organisations that articulated the interests of the black community.

    Jessica Elleisse Huntley neé Carroll (occasionally known as 'seko' or 'sica' by those close to her) was born in Bagotstown British Guiana on 23 February 1927 to Hectorine and James Carroll; she was the youngest of five children and had four brothers Robert, Sendall Munroe Nathaniel (Munroe), Newburne, and Hadden Oswald (1924-2000). Jessica died 13 October 2013 in hospital.

    Eric Lindbergh Huntley was born 25 September 1929 Georgetown, British Guiana to Selina and Frank Huntley, he was one of twelve children, who included Vera, Stella (died 2017), Ovid, Yvonne, Rudolph, Cyril, Patrick, Patsy, Nicholas and Audrey. Frank Huntley provided refreshments including salted meat for gold miners working near Georgetown. Pork was imported in barrels from Canada; to "Knock the barrel" was to find food hence Frank was Known as "Pork Knocker".

    Since their arrival in the late 1950s, the Huntleys lived at various addresses in North and North East London including 21 Haroldstone Road, Walthamstow (1964) before moving to 110 Windermere Road, Ealing. In 1971 the Huntleys moved from Windermere Road 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.

    Jessica and Eric Huntley shared a similar political worldview and often worked together on a number of projects. For further information please see introductions to specific sections of the catalogue.

    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: Huntley | Jessica Elleisse | 1927-2013 | political campaigner and publisher
Huntley | Eric Lindbergh | b 1929 | political campaigner and publisher
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: Depositor 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
  • B06/082
  • B08/040
  • B08/087
  • B09/005
  • B09/060
  • B09/061
  • B10/056
  • B10/090
  • B10/195
  • B11/034
  • B11/048
  • B12/080
  • B13/007
  • B09/099
  • B16/104
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: These records are arranged as follows:

LMA/4463/A Businesses;
LMA/4463/B Political Campaigns;
LMA/4463/C Community and Heritage;
LMA/4463/D Education;
LMA/4463/E Environment;
LMA/4463/F Personal, Family and Friends
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/4462 for records of Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications Limited, founded by Eric and Jessica Huntley and associated publishing organisations, personal papers of Lionel and Pansy Jeffrey and Andrew Salkey.

For sources on Walter Rodney please see LMA Information Leaflet Number 26: '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);

'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].

Vernon, Patrick and Osbourne, Angelina: '100 Great Black Britons' , pages 212-214. LittleBrown Book Group, 2020