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Labour and Socialist History

Great Reform Demonstration, 1884Bishopsgate Library holds a variety of collections for the study of labour and socialist history. These include the archives of politicians and activists, such as Jack Gaster, Noreen BransonAubrey Bowman and Bernie Grant, and organisations, such as the Evening Standard Outside Chapel and the National Miners' Support Network.

The collection also includes the library and archive of politician and trade unionist George Howell (1833-1910). The Howell Library comprises a rich variety of material covering the political, social, philosophical and religious questions that concerned nineteenth-century trade unionists and social reformers like Howell. The Howell Archive contains his own personal and political letters and manuscripts, alongside the records of the First International, Reform League and Plimsoll Fund.

The Labour History Collection is also an invaluable resource for the study of labour and socialist history from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day. Currently comprising over 5,000 books and 6,000 pamphlets, the collection covers the following topics:

  • Trade unions and labour relations
  • Labour Party and affiliated organisations
  • Communism
  • Pacifism
  • Labour biography
  • Working conditions

Click the links on the left to further explore our collections on labour and socialist history.