About the TUC Library Collections

The TUC Library Collections, established in 1922, are a major research resource for the study of all aspects of trade unions, lifelong learning and people at work. The Library was established for the use of the Trades Union Congress and affiliated unions, but has developed into a key research library in the social sciences. In September 1996, the Collections moved to their new home at London Metropolitan University.

The Collections contain books, pamphlets, periodicals and other resources collected from the second half of the 19th century to the current day. They include trade union and official publications and material from the various campaigns and policy areas in which the TUC has been involved since its foundation in 1868. The emphasis is on Britain, but many other countries are represented, especially Europe and the Commonwealth. The TUC continues to deposit material on a regular basis and current trade union publications and other recent material are acquired.

TUC Library Collections house a number of important special collections including:

The Workers' Educational Association Library and Archive which include minutes, reports, journals and manuscript material since the WEA's foundation in 1903. The Archive is important for any study of adult and continuing education in the 20th century.

Marjorie Nicholson (1914-1997) worked in the International Department from 1955-1972 and was the author of The TUC overseas: the roots of policy. Her papers comprise files of printed material, press cuttings, TUC internal documentation, correspondence and other manuscript material relating to labour and political movements in the colonies.

The Gertrude Tuckwell (1861-1951) Collection covers her period (c.1890-1921) with the Women's Trade Union League and includes both printed (press cuttings, pamphlets and reports) and manuscripts (mainly correspondence and personal notes). Subjects cover the whole range of contemporary issues relating to women's political and employment rights, including anti-sweating campaigns, union organisation, health and safety, suffrage campaigns, and issues relating to women and World War I

The Labour Research Department Archive includes minute books, documents and publications relating to LRD research and radical left political activities since its foundation in 1912.

TUC video and photograph collections plus files of press cuttings tracing important political and labour movement events 19181970.

Catalogues for the major collections and a link to descriptions of smaller deposits are available on the Collections web pages.


Library catalogue:
Library holdings catalogued since 1999 can be seen on the University Library catalogue. Details of other holdings up to 1999 are entered on a card catalogue, only accessible in the TUC Library Collections.

For further details, access and opening hours and to download the Collections guide go to the Collections webpages.

Trades Union Congress Library Collections
Special Collections
London Metropolitan University
16 Goulston Street
London E1 7TP


Telephone: 020 7320 3516
Email: tuclib@londonmet.ac.uk