Jessica (1927-2013) and Eric Huntley (1927-) are pioneering Black political and social activists and radical book publishers born in, what was then, British Guiana. Arriving in England in the 1950’s they wasted no time before becoming active in political and social issues relating to the British African-Caribbean communities in London. In 1974 the Huntley’s opened the Bogle L’Ouverture Bookshop, in West Ealing, London. The bookshop was later renamed as the ‘Walter Rodney Bookshop’ and quickly became a place of importance for Britain’s Black community.
In 2005 the Huntleys deposited their archives at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) bringing along the start of another chapter in their lives. The LMA is the largest archive in the United Kingdom after The National Archives and is one of the largest civic archives in the world. The collections cover the whole of Greater London spanning nearly a thousand years of history through maps, prints, drawings, plans, photographs and films. The Huntley collection is the first major collection from the African-Caribbean community in London to be included, covering fifty years of Black history and providing an unparalleled view of the African Caribbean community in London.
The Friends of the Huntley Archives at LMA (FHALMA), formed in 2012, became a charitable trust the following year, with the aim of promoting the heritage of the Caribbean and African Diaspora for the benefit of the general public. FHALMA achieves this goal by promoting and enhancing public awareness of and supporting education and community projects for the Huntley Collections, conserved and housed at the London Metropolitan Archives. FHALMA continues its work in preserving the documents in the collection, whilst raising funds and broadening the influence and use of the Huntley archive collections.