January 2012

Request:

1. A list of books, journals, periodicals, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, leaflets or posters that have been explicitly banned from publication or distribution in the UK within the last 50 years (where explicitly banned is taken to mean the instance of text is referred to by title or name rather than a category of texts such as 'those which incite hatred')

2. The date that any such text was banned

3. Where applicable, the date that any such ban was repealed

4. Indicate the legislation under which any such text was banned from publication

5. Any report, email, memo or document discussing or otherwise pertaining to the need for a ban on any such text

Outcome:

No information held

Response:

The National Archives does not hold a list of books, journals, periodicals, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, leaflets or posters that have been explicitly banned from publication or distribution in the UK. As such we are unable to provide you with the specific information you are looking for.

Within The National Archives collection there may be records that specifically deal with individual cases where documents have, or may have been, banned. For example the series HO 302 contains records regarding indecent publications. You can find information on conducting research with us on our website; this includes our catalogue, which you can use to search our collections for specific records.

We also offer a paid search service that can help a requester identify specific documents relevant to their research. We will aim to provide you with the information you require, and to provide a prompt and professional service. HM Treasury requires recovery of the full cost of providing the service. We will reply to your request within 20 working days (email: enquiry@nationalarchives.gov.uk). 

We provide on site access to the JUSTIS database, which includes statutes and cases which may assist in your enquiries. The Publishers Association or the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals  and the British Library may also be able to assist you in finding out what has been banned within the last 50 years.