2022 - 2023

Mapping Radical Bookshops

Radical bookshops, once found in every major town and city, are spaces of possibility and resistance, offering quiet browsing, public discussions and encounters between writers, readers and activists.

On the Record is working with the Alliance of Radical Booksellers and the Radical Bookshop History Project to produce a digital map of radical bookshops past and present, with seed funding from the Barry Amiel and Normal Melburn Trust.

If you have details of a radical bookshop you would like to add to the map please contact us.


On 26 November 2022, Rosa Schling from On the Record curated a day-long event at the Barbican celebrating radical bookshops past and present. Barbican Library hosted a bookfair with stalls from Britain’s best-known radical bookshops including Housmans, New Beacon Books, Gay’s The Word, Five Leaves, Shalimar Books, Roundtable Books, Freedom, Bookmarks and Newham Bookshop along with radical publishers and organisations such as Pluto Press, Verso, the Feminist Library and Bishopsgate Institute, alongside two talks about Radical Bookshops Past and Radical Bookshops present and a lino printing workshop.

We hope to run Quiet Revolutions again in 2023.

Listen to the audio from the talks at these links below.

Radical Bookshops Present Talk

Radical Bookshops Past Talk