Scottish labour history collections

This list contains summary details of all collections of significant size received to date by the Library in the field of Scottish labour and trade union history, including personal papers of individuals active in these movements. The list is arranged alphabetically within the following subject areas:

  1. Trade unions and co-operative societies
  2. The Labour Party
  3. Other labour or socialist parties and organisations, including educational bodies affiliated to trade unions
  4. Papers of individuals connected with the labour, socialist or trade union movements
  5. Miscellaneous papers

More detailed lists are available on request in the Library, principally in the Scottish Labour History checklist and index. Some data from collections on this checklist is attached to main entries on the Guide to Manuscript Collections, and more will be added as soon as possible.

Consulting and copying material

Unless stated otherwise, for example where restrictions apply, collections should be available in the Special Collections Reading Room on request. Reprography is subject to the provisions of current copyright legislation and, if applicable, to the permission of depositors.

Collection descriptions

Several of the collections noted in the lists have been described briefly in guides to archival collections, particularly in:

  • 'Sources in British Political History, 1900-1951', by Chris Cook. 6 vols. (London, 1975-1985)
  • 'The Longman Guide to Sources in Contemporary British History', by Chris Cook, Jane Leonard and Peter Leese. 2 vols. (London, 1994)

Much detail, and entries for related manuscript and printed material in a wide range of Scottish repositories, can be found in Ian MacDougall's 'Labour Records in Scotland' (Scottish Labour History Society, Edinburgh, 1978).

Archives deposited

Many of the archives deposited in the Library's Scottish labour history collections have been received through the good offices of the Scottish Labour History Society, and, more recently, the Scottish Working Peoples' History Trust.

For further information about collections on this list, email


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