Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Archive for July, 2010

Someone else likes us

Posted by wcmlibrary on July 27, 2010

A recent email received:

‘Up until a few months ago I came to the library several times a month to do research on my dissertation, which was on alternative newspapers in the 1970s…A few weeks ago I was told that my dissertation itself has been marked as first class, which is all down to the help I received from WCML.  To thank you, I’ve just made a small online donation…’

Lynette, Library Manager

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A working class thirst for knowledge

Posted by wcmlibrary on July 9, 2010

Working class education was a hot topic around the turn of the last century and I have just finished cataloguing two collections which help explain the working class thirst for knowledge.

The first is our small collection of Socialist Sunday School items.  Socialist Sunday Schools arose in response to a widespread feeling that orthodox Sunday Schools were not suitable as a training ground for the children of socialists.  It was felt there was a need for some organised and systematic method of presenting the socialist point of view and of teaching the ideals and principles of socialism to young people. For more information go to our website at

The collection consists of outlines of the aims and objectives of the schools, their syllabuses and their song books.  To search the Socialist Sunday Schools collection go to our online catalogue at

The second collection centres around the National Council of Labour Colleges which was set up to co-ordinate the work of the labour colleges which were providing independent working class education.  The collection contains material from the National Council, and also from the Central Labour College.  We also have a collection of other working class education material as part of our general Education collection.  To search the education collection go to our online catalogue at

Project Librarian

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Someone likes us

Posted by wcmlibrary on July 7, 2010

Edward Poole, Ph.D. student, University of Manchester writes:

I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Manchester, studying the relationship between Christianity and communism/socialism in Britain between 1917 and the 1950s.

I am studying a number of Christian clerics who had communist and socialist sympathies, including Hewlett Johnson and Alan Ecclestone, amongst a number of other, less well known individuals.

I visited the Working Class Movements Library for the first time between 22 June and 1 July 2010, and I consulted several collections of papers concerning the Christian Socialist Movement in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, papers concerning the Hyde Socialist Church, and a large number of pamphlets collected by the Jubilee Group of Christian Socialists, as well as a variety of other papers.  Amongst these papers I found many documents I had been seeking for my research and this has had enormous benefits for my research.

The staff at the WCML are great.  Mike was able to track down several files for me before I arrived, and he and Alain between them know the contents of every scrap of paper in the collection.  While I was there, they often emerged from the storage rooms, bearing boxes and boxes of papers and saying “this might be worth having a look at…” and everything they produced was ideal for me.  Everyone there is friendly and I owe a great many thanks to Mike, Alain, Chris, Jane and everyone else that helped me in my visit for finding papers, offering suggestions, and making tea!

Thanks again, I will definitely be back!

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TUC pamphlets

Posted by wcmlibrary on July 2, 2010

Thanks to the stirling work of Kenneth, one of our volunteers, we now have details of our collection of Trades Union Congress pamphlets available on our online catalogue – all 27 boxes, or 1048 items, of them!

The collection has items dating from the late 1800s and continuing right up to the present day.  It also compliments our collection of TUC congress reports, papers and other items

You can search the collection using our online catalogue at

Project Librarian

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