From the Archives Blog

From the Archives allows us in the Humanist Library and Archives to share some of our wonderful items and our learning with you!

It also includes entries from the former A2R (Alternatives to Religion) blog, a collaborative project between Conway Hall and Bishopsgate Institute which sparked exploration of some of the ways people have tried to make sense of the world and live together ethically without the need for faith in a God or gods. The key themes linking this broad movement are Freethought, Ethics, Humanism, Rationalism and Secularism. Material for these entries came from the British Humanist Association, The National Secular Society and Conway Hall Ethical Society. Posts were written by archivists, Nicky Hilton and Carl Harrison.

The Grecian Club

Hidden within the archives of the National Secular Society were the minute books and attendance records for a small but influential society called The Grecian Club.

View The Grecian Club

Thu, 3rd Jul, 2014
National Secular Society members and Humanists protesting

National Secular Society members and Humanists protesting on Easter Monday in Hyde Park, c.1970.

View Humanists Are Marching!

Thu, 26th Jun, 2014
Campaign against the ‘misrepresentation’ of Pius XII, 1958

With the death of Pope Pius XII on 9 October 1958, British news published and broadcast a wave of positive eulogies for the Catholic leader. Celebrated nationally as the ‘Pope of Peace’, the National Secular Society were alarmed by the uncritical reporting of Pius’ leadership.

NSS Outing c.1970

This orphaned photograph from a National Secular Society annual outing c.1970 shows the broad appeal of the Society, with men and women of all ages.

View NSS Outing c.1970

Fri, 13th Jun, 2014
MP Micheal Foot

As a campaigning organisation, the National Secular Society has a strong tradition of tackling difficult questions and challenging the existing state of affairs.

The National Secular Society was established by the political activist and atheist Charles Bradlaugh in 1886. The Society aimed to promote secularism and argued for a division between church and state.

The South Place Chapel - poster

The South Place Chapel and Institute Soiree Committee produced some wonderfully playful programmes for their events.

Sunday lectures

Conway Hall Ethical Society has been providing an alternative to Sunday services – the Sunday Lectures, since the congregation of South Place Chapel moved away from religion in the nineteenth century.

Late Victorian advertisements for events held by South Place Ethical Society

Late Victorian advertisements for events held by South Place Ethical Society, South Place Chapel, (1894-1903). Including rambles, bazaars and book sales.

The members of Conway Hall Ethical Society have a long history of supporting other groups who share some of the ethical or social principles of the Society

The members of Conway Hall Ethical Society have a long history of supporting other groups who share some of the ethical or social principles of the Society. This was especially so under the Chairmanship of Peter Cadogan, (1971-1980). During this time the Society created links with a range of campaign and social groups from nuclear disarmament to child poverty.

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