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Ruskin College, the trade union and labour movement college, founded in Oxford in 1899, has just moved from its central location to the outskirts of the city. In the course of this move much archival material representing the history of this pioneering College has been destroyed. This includes unique records of the working-class students who attended Ruskin in its first decades.
We the undersigned, recognise the enormous value of archival material of past lives to historians – and activists – in the present and future. With dismay, we note that the College principal, Audrey Mullender, and the chair of governors, David Norman, have sanctioned the destruction of Ruskin College archives. We request them immediately to halt this process. The archival material that remains should be transferred to an institution committed to preserving the recorded experiences of working people.