Dr Ian MacDougall

Dr Ian MacDougall, the long standing research worker of the Scottish Working People's History Trust (SWPHT), talks about the role he's had in ensuring historical records of working people are being preserved.

Ian is the author of numerous works on social history including 'All men are Brethren' and 'Voice of work and home'. He has played a pivotal role in persuading many trade unions, co-operatives and activists to deposit or donate their papers to Scottish archives and libraries, including the National Library of Scotland.

He has also compiled many oral histories of working men and women over the past few years.

You can also read a transcript of this video.

The Scottish Working People's History Trust

The Scottish Working People's History Trust is a charitable body established in 1992 to champion the cause of working people's history.

The trust has three main aims:

  • Saving sources: To search for and assist in the preservation of surviving documentary source material of the history of working people
  • Recording recollections: To interview working people throughout Scotland and record their recollections of their working lives, housing, education, recreational and other experiences
  • Editing and publishing: To edit and publish these documentary source materials and oral recollections and encourage the making of television, radio, film and theatre productions about the history of working people in Scotland.

Suggested discussion points

  • Why do you think it's important to preserve records of working people in general?
  • If you were responsible for gathering and documenting the lives of working people today, what would you choose to record? What formats would you save these in?
  • What role do you think libraries, museums and archives have in preserving the history of working people?

Labour history page


Find out more about labour history at NLS

We have the leading collection of research material relating to Scottish labour and trade union history.


Visit the Scottish Screen Archive to find films relating to Scottish industry from fishing and tweed-making to mining and agriculture.

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