The Benn Archives comprise the papers, audio
tapes, video cassettes and some artifacts collected by Tony
Benn over his lifetime. Apart from a very few documents relating
to both grandfathers, (Sir John Benn MP and Daniel Holmes
MP) his father, William Wedgwood Benn MP (Lord Stansgate),
some of which date back to the end of the nineteenth Century,
the main collection begins with personal and political documents
from the early 1930's.
The core of this collection and the key to
the other material held is the diaries and journals which
extend back to the early forties and which since 1963 are
virtually unbroken to the present time. The earliest journal
is dated 1941 in manuscript. From 1955, the diaries are mostly
in typescript, having been dictated to secretaries contemporaneously.
From 1966, the diaries were dictated direct
on to audio-cassettes and have been transcribed. The whole
diary collection to 2002 constitutes approximately 18 million
Tony Benn continues to dictate his diary on
to cassette but they have not been transcribed beyond 2002.
With the development of CD technology and scanning, it has
been possible to transfer the most of the unedited, uncorrected
diary since 1963 on to CD-ROM (the CD-ROM currently ends in