Archive

The Mustard Project digital archive consists of materials drawn from the Albert Sloman University Library’s University Collection at Essex. These documents include official University papers relating to the May disturbances – notices, memoranda, records and transcripts of meetings, etc. – as well as a large number of student-authored leaflets, bulletins, letters, statements and appeals that appeared around the campus in 1968.

The establishment of a Committee of Enquiry into the events also generated a significant volume of witness testimonies of one sort or another. The Committee set up a Tribunal of Enquiry, which in turn solicited statements of evidence from those present at the original flashpoints of these events, a disrupted Chemical Society lecture featuring a government scientist from Porton Down, on May 7th. Once the written statements had been reviewed, the Tribunal conducted a series of oral hearings before formalising and publishing its account of the events. The Committee of Enquiry then canvassed opinion across the campus on the question of freedom of speech in universities, issuing its own report on June 24th.

The principle sources for the digitisation project so far have been Box 8 (Committee of Enquiry freedom of speech submissions); Box 9 (Tribunal of Enquiry written evidence on the Inch incident); Box 14 (Information Officer Walter Evans’ Internal Documents collection); and Box 17 (transcripts of Tribunal of Enquiry hearings, and a collection relating to the May events deposited by Dr Ernest Rudd of the Department of Sociology).

Two further Boxes containing largely identical material have been drawn on occasionally to supplement the above: one is Box 16 (containing further materials deposited by Ernest Rudd); the other is Box 15, which contains materials gathered and deposited by physicist T.P. Hughes. Not all of the boxes have been exhaustively digitised and uploaded; more will be added as and when time permits. All documents are reproduced by kind permission of the University of Essex.

Finally, just to mention an immense debt of gratitude to Ana Ferrand, Mitch Goodrum, and James Tague for their invaluable help with preparing the documents and the web archive; also to Nigel Cochrane and all the staff at the Albert Sloman University Library for their continued support and enthusiasm over a period of many years.