Kate Sharpley Library

Portrait of the artist as a wanted man: Philip Ruff’s search for Peter the Painter

Cover image: a photo of Jānis Žāklis in an oval, over a photo of Houndsditch

Review of a 2018 book telling the story behind the Siege of Sidney Street, and telling the story of Peter the Painter's life.

Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander Berkman, annotated and introduced by Jessica Moran and Barry Pateman [Book review]

Review of the annotated and expanded edition of Berkman's classic Prison Memoirs, which came out in 2017.

Leaflet protesting the execution of members of the Tallion group

Miguel Garcia

Information about nine anarchist members of the Tallion anti-Franco resistance group who were sentenced to death in 1949.

Peter the Painter (Janis Zhaklis) and the siege of Sidney Street

Peter the Painter on his wanted poster

In October 2003 the Latvian press carried a number of articles about the Latvian anarchist Janis Zhaklis. These were largely based on the work of Philip Ruff who, after twenty years of research into the Siege of Sidney Street has identified Zhaklis as the most famous Latvian in London: Peter the Painter. His hunt through the archives continues but before the full story is published we thought it worth posting this article to whet your appetites. Pauls Bankovskis, who wrote this piece is a well-known journalist and novelist. His 2002 novel, Mister Latvia, was based on some of the characters involved with the events around Sidney Street.

Left of the Left: my memories of Sam Dolgoff [Book review]

cover image of Left of the Left

Sam Dolgoff was an American anarchist and wobbly (member of the Industrial Workers of the World). He’s an important figure, active for almost seven decades (including ones where anarchism was supposed to have ‘died out’!)

The Spanish Revolution 70 years later

An outline of the social revolution which exploded at the start of the Spanish Civil War, touching on how it happened and how it was crushed, as well as its significance for anarchists.

Mat Kavanagh and the History of Anarchism

Mat Kavanagh's notes on freethought

Thoughts on Mat Kavanagh's writing, what he's trying to do with it and what it means for anarchist history

Anarchist history: confessions of an awkward pupil - Barry Pateman

Barry Pateman

An excellent article by Barry Pateman about how it feels to be unearthing anarchist history, how it feels to be viewed as part of this history and the complex nature of past anarchist movements.

To spread the revolution: anarchist archives and libraries - Jessica Moran

Kate Sharpley Library bookfair stall: three people beneath a red and back banner

Notes on why anarchists have created libraries (past and present) and some of the challenges they face, drawing on a survey of current anarchist libraries, anarchist history, and the author's own experiences at the Kate Sharpley Library.

The Anarchist Expropriators by Osvaldo Bayer [Review]

cover image for The Anarchist Expropriators by Osvaldo Bayer

Brief review of Osvaldo Bayer's account of Argentina's anarchist expropriators of the 1920s and 1930s.