A group photo of about 20 women who were British delegates to a conference.

Peace and internationalism

"Give peace a chance" - CND

Explore our fantastic range of original, primary research material on the subjects of peace and internationalism in the UK.


The archives focus on the work of pressure groups, activists, international organisations, and individuals working for peace, disarmament and greater international cooperation from the late 19th century to the present day. It includes a variety of material such as minutes of meetings, leaflets, posters, badges, diaries and correspondence. 

Access digitised Peace and Internationalism material on our digital library.

The League of Nations and the United Nations

The League of Nations was founded in 1920 after the end of the first world war with the goal of maintaining world peace. It was eventually replaced by the United Nations in 1945.

Margaret Bondfield giving a talk in front of a banner
Margaret Bondfield, giving a speech for WILPF at the world disarmament conference in Geneva, 1932.

Disarmament, Peace and Cooperation

The 20th century saw the establishment of a number of organisations that worked towards peace on an international scale. Some of the major collections in the archives include:

A woman talking at a microphone in front of a CND banner
Pat Arrowsmith, peace activist and prominent member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Federalism and the EU

Ideas of a federated Europe and/or world government have been supported by a number of individuals in the archives, including:

For Britain's relationship with the development of the European Union and early ideas of a federated Europe, see the Britain and Europe page.

Other international groups

Our archives hold many other international groups working towards peace, including:

Woman with abolish weapons board
Unidentified member of WILPF publishing the 1932 World Disarmament conference.

Campaigners and activists

As well as international organisations, many individuals campaigned for peace. These include: 

A CND protester march
Photograph from the London to Aldermaston March, 1960s

How do I search? 

This is just a snapshot of the material we hold that covers this subject. You can find these items and many more by using the following tools:

How do I access?

Most of the material highlighted here is part of our special collections, which are open to all but must be consulted in our reading room. Find out how to book your place and order material on our access archives and special collections page.

How do I get further help?

If you need  help with any of the collections mentioned here get in touch with our Curator Politics and International Relations, Daniel Payne, or on Twitter.

Find out more