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Contents

This site consists of five resources:

Timeline
A journey through 200 years of trade union history covering all the major personalities and events, illustrated with contemporary photographs, documents, posters and union emblems.

General Strike
The TUC Library Collections holds an extensive archive from the General Strike of 1926. Official reports from both the TUC and the unions themselves tell the story of the build up to the strike, the 9 day shutdown in May, as well as the consequences for the trade union movement as a whole. Contemporary photographs, press coverage, cartoons and local reports complete the story.

Match Workers
Using the original Strike Fund Register as its centrepiece, this section tells the story of the famous "Match Girls" strike at the Bryant and May factory in Hackney, London in 1888. Biographies of Annie Besant and Herbert Burrows complete the story as well as reproductions from 'The Link' magazine which supported the campaign.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
The TUC is the proud custodian of the manuscript to this classic novel by Robert Tressell (pen name of Robert Noonan) about working class life in the early years of the 20th century. Each of the 1700 pages of the manuscript have been digitally imaged, enabling users to browse through the book, reading Tressell´s original words as well as later, controversial, amendments by book editors.

TUC Reports
Using original documents from the TUC Library Collections, a digital library has been created enabling the user to browse through 100 years of Congress Reports between 1868 and 1968. Optical character recognition technology has created a text index of each page, enabling searches on people, events and places mentioned in debates throughout the whole period.


Technology and Processes

This site is driven by EMu, a content management system developed by KE Software (UK) Ltd. Information (or metadata) about each image is recorded on this database and queries posted by the user on the website are sent here to be processed. If a match is found then the digital image and metadata are returned to the screen.

Digitisation work has been carried out by a variety of agencies including the University´s own Media Centre. Two images are created of each photograph or document - a high resolution TIFF file, and a smaller lower resolution JPEG file for delivery on the website. These high resolution files are kept in storage but may be utilised in the future as internet connections become faster.


Help with searching

For searching images throughout the whole site, use the Search box in the top right hand corner of the Home page. The Match Workers, RTP, The General Strike and TUC Reports can be searched there or on their own pages. Note that search results will be returned in ascending date order by default.

The following operators can be used to aid your search:

Phrase searching. Use double quote marks to narrow down your search, e.g. "coal industry". This will find records where the two words are used together.

~ Stem search. This will find all variations of that word, e.g. ~social will find Socialist and Social Insurance.

@ Sounds Like. This will find words that sound like the one you want. e.g. @Bessant will find all references to Annie Besant.

* Wildcard. This will find words that have any letter or character after the ones you entered. Use this especially for searching dates, e.g. 192* will find all references to the 1920s.

For a more sophisticated search, go to the Advanced Search page.



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Match Workers, Bryant and May, 1888 Women resurfacing a road 1914-1918
  Ernest Bevin   Strikers Meeting, Millwall, 1918  
  Food lorry with an armoured car escort, General Strike, 1926   Finance Committee, dock strike, 1889