Who we are

The George Padmore Institute (GPI) is an archive, educational research and information centre housing materials relating mainly to the black community of Caribbean, African and Asian descent in Britain and continental Europe.  Its aims are to organise and sustain:

  • an archive, library, educational resource, research and information centre, to allow the materials in its care to be available for use by interested individuals and groups, both in person at the GPI and through the use of modern storage, retrieval and communication methods;
  • educational and cultural activities including conferences, courses, seminars, study programmes, talks and readings;
  • the publication and dissemination of relevant materials.

The GPI was set up in 1991 by a group of people connected with New Beacon Books, Britain's first black publisher and bookshop. Since being established in 1966 New Beacon Books, led by its founder John La Rose, has worked closely with and supported many educational, cultural and political initiatives in the black community and wider society in Britain and abroad.

The work of the Institute is directed by a board of Trustees, who have been connected in some way with these initiatives - and there are four sub-committees to organise different parts of our work (eg archive work, events etc). The building occupied by the Institute was donated to it in 1991. The Institute has for its use the three floors above New Beacon Bookshop, which occupies the ground floor and pays rent to the George Padmore Institute.