The Kim Stallwood Archive at The British Library
From Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies Articles Archive

October 2020

Kim Stallwood: "The history of the animal rights movement parallels the struggle of other social and political movements to give voice and recognition to those who have long suffered without either. I have devoted my life to this mission." 

In my office, I stand next to the 36 boxes of materials packed and ready for The British Library to take.

The Kim Stallwood Archive of research material documenting the history of the animal rights movement will become part of the British Library’s permanent holdings starting this autumn 2020. The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and provides information services to academic, business, research, and scientific communities.

“I am honoured to partner with the British Library to make these vast materials available publicly for the first time,” says Stallwood. “The history of the animal rights movement parallels the struggle of other social and political movements to give voice and recognition to those who have long suffered without either. I have devoted my life to this mission.”

Stallwood’s unique archive chronicle the animal rights movement’s development from the mid-1970s through to the late 1980s. The research material, which comprises nearly 600 organisation files, 150 people files, and 118 subject files, complements the library’s earlier acquisition of materials from writer and animal advocate Richard Ryder.

“I am delighted that the British Library is now the permanent home for the Kim Stallwood Archive,” adds Rachel Foss, Head of Contemporary Archives and Manuscripts, Contemporary British Collections, “where it greatly enhances our growing collections of archives relating to contemporary campaigning and activism. The Archive is an extremely valuable resource for researchers, students and anyone interested in the history of the animal rights movement, animal welfare and food activism. We are looking forward to beginning work to make the collection available to the public which we hope to do by the end of 2021.”

  • The Stallwood Archive was compiled from hundreds of personal files, appointment diaries, address books, correspondence, periodicals, and other printed and digital materials that trace major events in animal rights history on two continents. For example, the archive includes:

    Correspondence with Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and Jim Mason, author and attorney, from late 1970s to early 1980s about the challenges to establishing the nascent animal rights movement in the UK and USA, including launching organisations, arranging demonstrations, and publishing magazines
  • Files from Co-ordinating Animal Welfare, the groundbreaking activist organization that Stallwood co-founded, which nurtured the development of grassroots groups, challenged the effectiveness of established national organisations, and contributed to the development of an international animal rights movement in its formative stage in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Stallwood’s diaries and address books from the 1970s to the 1990s

Kim Stallwood
The Kim Stallwood Archive being boxed up and given to the British Library, September 23, 2020

Now that it is part of the British Library’s more than 170 million items, the Stallwood Archive will provide insight and appreciation for the people and organisations that gave rise to one of the most progressive and inclusive movements in social justice history.

Stallwood began his activism after a job in a chicken slaughterhouse prompted him to become vegetarian in 1974 and a vegan two years later. He went on to become a prominent activist working with such groups as Compassion In World Farming, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (now Cruelty Free International). He moved to the United States in 1987 to become the first executive director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He was the editor in chief of The Animals’ Agenda magazine before co-founding the Animals and Society Institute in 2005.

He returned to England in 2007, where he continues his work as an author and independent scholar. His book, Growl: Life Lessons, Hard Truths, and Bold Strategies from an Animal Advocate, was published by Lantern Publishing & Media in 2014. Brian May, musician and astrophysicist, wrote the foreword. Stallwood is a member of the board of directors of the Culture & Animals Foundation, the U.S.-based not-for-profit organization founded by philosopher Tom Regan and his wife, Nancy, in 1985 to support artists and scholars in advancing our understanding of and commitment to animals.

The Stallwood Archive will be catalogued and made available to researchers and the public in the coming year. Due to their sensitive nature, some materials will be embargoed from public view for the next 25 years. The archive will be housed in the library’s historic building in London near King’s Cross. An oral history of Stallwood will be conducted in 2021 and added to the archive.

Please read: Announcing The Kim Stallwood Archive at The British Library (PDF)

Return to: Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies