The Library has been collecting the records of the Scottish labour and trade union movements since the 1960s. These archives document changes in working lives as well as industrial relations.
Ephemeral items like flyers reveal the motivations Scots had for going on strike and supporting workers and their rights. They give an insight into how workers have joined forces to air their grievances with employers and governments. Colourful design, eye-catching slogans and photographs make visible workers’ labour and new forms of solidarity.
This material can be very difficult to collect retrospectively. This makes it just as important to us as the politicians' archives and early trade union records in our collections.
This display features items from the William Gallacher Memorial Library [Library reference: Acc.14114] and items acquired through legal deposit and donation between 1984 and 2022.