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.
- 'Russia and the Allies', December 1917. Short report on the "Maximalist's" or "Leninite's" overthrow of Kerensky's administration, and possible intervention by the Allies in the anarchist journal 'Freedom'.
- Appeal for peace to British workers, 1918, from the International Bureau of the Central Executive Committee of the Council of Workmen's, Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies. It provides a Bolshevik view of the October Revolution and appeals for support from the British working class.
- The Bolshevik and Menshevik governments in Russia, January 1918. Letter from Jacob O. Gavronsky, a member of the Social Revolutionary Party, to the British Trades Union Congress. He writes in support of Kerensky's administration and attacks the Bolshevik seizure of power.
- Statement to the labour movement of Britain, with covering note from M.M. Litvinov, Russian plenipotentiary for Great Britain, February 1918. It attacks the Russian middle-classes and provisional government, presents the Bolshevik Revolution as a working-class uprising, and appeals for support from the British workers.
- 'The Russian Revolution: The first year', April 1918. Pamphlet written by the pro-Russian Revolution MP Joseph King, and published by the Union for Democratic Control. It includes sections on the "Bolschevick" government and future of the revolution.
- 'A Year in Soviet Russia: Brief account of the legislative work of 1917-1918'. Pamphlet published by the People's Russian Information Bureau.
- New Russia: Anniversary bulletin of the Bolshevik Revolution, November 1917-1918. Socialist Party of Ireland pamphlet. It publishes the Soviet constitution of 10 July 1918, along with an editorial praising the "Bolsheviki".
- 'An open letter to Lenin from the Finnish Communist Party', published by the People's Russian Information Bureau, 1918. Written following the attempted assassination of Lenin by Fanya Kaplan, it discusses the situation in Finland and expresses surprise that the Bolsheviks are still in power.
- 'Social reconstruction in Russia', [1918?]. Leaflet distributed by the People's Russian Information Bureau. It focuses on social measures (particularly on behalf of children) introduced by the Bolsheviks.
- 'Russian workers and control of industry', [1918?]. Leaflet distributed by the People's Russian Information Bureau. It focuses on the nationalisation of industry.
- 'Red Petrograd: second anniversary of the great proletarian revolution', 1919. Heavily illustrated pamphlet, in Russian, published in Petrograd (St Petersburg) to mark the second anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.
- 'Red Russia: The Triumph of the Bolsheviki' and 'Red Russia: Book II', 1919. Personal account of the October Revolution by the American journalist John Reed, in two pamphlets published by the Workers' Socialist Federation. Reed is best known for his description of the revolution in the book '10 Days That Shook the World'.