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Marx Memorial Library

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51.5230102504, -0.1057437316

37a Clerkenwell Green,
London,
EC1R 0DU, England

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+44 20 7253 1485

At the beginning of 1933 the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Marx (14 March 1883) was approaching. The question arose of what Robin Page Arnot, the first principal of the Marx Memorial Library and Workers' School (as it was in its first years), had called 'a fitting memorial in the form of a centre of working class education to the greatest thinker and revolutionist of all time, in the city where he lived and worked for the greater part of his adult life'. A Marx Commemoration Committee was set up on the initiative of the Labour Research Department, with the support of Martin Lawrence Limited, publishers of Marxist literature. It comprised well-known trade unionists and veteran Socialists belonging to the Labour Party (like Alexander Gossip, general secretary of the Furnishing Trades Association, and Harry Adams, chairman of the London District Committee of the Building Trade Workers), or the Communist Party (like Tom Mann, Harry Pollitt and Joe Scott of the Amalgamated Engineering Union). The Labour Research Department was represented by its secretary W. E. Williams, Emile Burns and R. P. Arnot (members of its Executive Committee) and Martin Lawrence Ltd. by Ralph Fox, soon to die in battle for Republican Spain. The Committee called a conference at the Conway Hall, Holborn on 11 March: and a strong point made there was the' 'burning of the books' already begun in Germany by the Nazis, recently installed in power with the help of Big Business and determined to root out all Marxist and other progressive ideas.

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