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 www.wcml.org.uk/wcml/en/contents/creativity-and-culture/leisure/socialist-sunday-schools/
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 www.wcml.org.uk/catalogue/adlib-catalogue
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 www.wcml.org.uk/catalogue/adlib-catalogue