Welcome to the OUHG archive!

[This site is now substantially complete: it includes all the termly cards, posters and press coverage that I had available before transferring the whole archive to the Bishopsgate Institute where also are to be found the archives of Humanists UK (previously the British Humanist Association) and other kindred organisations.  The archive also includes some notes of individual meetings from my own contemporaneous notes and a little material about Committee proceedings.  If you have anything relevant that is not on the website, please get in touch!  It is best to access the site through the drop-down menus, not through the year listings on the left.]

In the early 1960s the Oxford University Humanist Group was one of the most flourishing societies in the University.  Often with well over 1,000 members, it had meetings with eminent speakers, organised weekly discussion meetings, publicised Humanism and opposed Christian missions to the University.  It had its own small printing press and produced its own posters and termly cards as well as taking in business for other clubs.

At a time when deference was the default attitude to authority and explicit denial of belief in God was still a daring act, the OUHG  was at the cutting edge of public debate on the basis and nature of morality and over reform of the law on abortion, homosexuality, divorce, censorship and the like.

Founded in 1958 by Tony Brierley, the OUHG flourished for a few years and then faded as its causes succeeded.  It was no longer at the cutting edge and it folded in the early 1970s.

This website gathers copies of its termly cards, posters, press cuttings and other memorabilia in the belief that OUHG was a phenomenon that should not pass unrecorded from memory.  Sadly many of the press cuttings bear the marks of fifty-year-old sellotape but I have cleaned them up as much as possible and have provided transcripts of oneor two.

Many thanks to Tony Brierley for providing photocopies of many early termly cards and now to Stephen Hayes for images of termly cards for Michaelmas 1966, Michaelmas 1967 and Hilary 1968.  Those who can likewise add to the story – with posters, cuttings or reminiscences – are invited to do so: do please contact the webmaster!

David Pollock
Keble (1960)