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The October Revolution

In Britain, the Russian Revolution prompted resolutions in support of peace, freedom and social change; packed meetings and conventions; the formation of workers' and soldiers' councils; and concerns of revolutionary unrest in Britain - but this followed the February Revolution, and the overthrow of the Romanov dynasty, not the October Revolution and the overthrow of Kerensky's provisional government. The labour movement archives at the Modern Records Centre contain very little that was produced as an immediate response to the Bolshevik seizure of power. Once the civil war was nearing an end - and it became clear that the Bolshevik administration would survive - delegations were sent, reports written and diplomatic relations partially negotiated.

Two sets of lantern slides relating to the revolutions of 1917, the civil war and the early social reforms of the Bolsheviks have been digitised as part of Henry Sara's lantern lectures:

  • 'Russia's struggle': 101 colourised photographic slides of revolutionary 'struggle' against the Tsarist regime, and the upheavals of the October Revolution and Russian Civil War.
  • 'Russia's labours': 104 colourised photographic slides of Soviet Russia shortly after the Russian Revolution, focusing on the lives of the general population.

A small number of documents which contain early responses to the October Revolution and initial actions of the Bolsheviks are summarised below.