Alternatives to Religion

Image © British Humanist Association

After 18 months the Alternatives to Religion cataloguing project reaches its conclusion this week. The project has unearthed the histories of three influential non-theistic organisations, making their archives freely accessible for the first time.

Bertrand Russell letter

In 1966 the National Secular Society celebrated 100 years of campaigning for the separation of religion and state. In the run-up to the anniversary they received numerous warm, funny and thought-provoking letters of support from the most influential figures of the day.

Protesters

This collection of photographs were taken during a protest against British Transport’s decision to remove Family Planning Association adverts from London Underground in 1961.

Charles Bradlaugh

Next month will see the 181st birthday of Charles Bradlaugh, a committed atheist and political activist. Bradlaugh was the founder of the National Secular Society, bringing together localised secular societies to campaign for the separation of Church and State.

National Secular Society members

National Secular Society members in Nottingham on 5 June 1949 attending the Society’s Annual Conference.

Letter written by Bertrand Russell

The National Secular Society has a long history of campaigning for secular education in the UK.

NSS meeting, 1926

Throughout the 20th century the National Secular Society kept records of local secular society branches and affiliated groups. This included organisations both in the UK and abroad. From the National Secular Society archive, this photograph captures the Birmingham Branch on their annual outing in 1926.

The English Voltaire

Thomas Paine, the political activist, philosopher, author, political theorist and revolutionary, is one figure who appears in all three archives of the Alternatives to Religion Project – National Secular Society, British Humanist Association and Conway Hall Ethical Society.

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
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