Archives of the Printing and Papermaking Unions
The Printers Collection, the archives and history of the printing and
papermaking unions of the UK and Ireland, housed in the Marx Memorial
Library, Clerkenwell, London is now available to print and
paperworkers, trade unionists, students and historians worldwide on a
brand new website.
In March 2009, the Archive was opened by Unite Joint General Secretary
Derek Simpson and Unite Assistant General Secretary Tony Burke.
The Archive contains thousands of documents and memorabilia owned by
the Graphical, Paper and Media Union, now part of Unite as the Unite
The website contains the history of the UK and Ireland's print and
paper unions dating back to the creation of craft guilds of the Middle
Ages; details of the first independent trade unions created in the mid
1700's with the formation of Bookbinders lodges in London and the
Manchester Typographical Society and the story of the formation of the
Trade Union Congress in Manchester in 1868 by three print union
The history of the print and paper unions was written by Professor John
Gennard of Strathclyde University.
A full colour booklet containing the history of the print and paper
unions, details of the Marx Memorial Library and the 20th Century Press
complete with full colour photographs and illustrations can be
purchased through the website.
The website contains details of how to visit the Archive, opening
times, group bookings etc.
Because of the large number of foreign visitors to the Marx Memorial
Library each year, the website will have information on the Archives in
Welsh, German, Chinese, Polish, Italian and Russian.
In addition print and paper workers and trade unionists can leave
messages and their own recollections - and there are details of how
donations of memorabilia from the print and and paper trade unions and
industries can be made to the Archive.
"Many former GPMU Branch's, chapels and activists have contacted us
wanting to donate some their memorabilia. We are always interested in
receiving memorabilia as we know this precious material will be
carefully looked after and treasured by the Library" said Tony Burke,
Unite Assistant General Secretary.
"We want to encourage trade unionists, especially print and paper
workers, students and overseas visitors to come and see the archive and
look at this historic material. We are very proud that we have been
able to donate the history of our founder unions to the Archive. Our
next task is to re-establish the memorial to print and paper trade
unionists who fought in the Spanish Civil War in the garden at the
Library." said Tony.
The Printers Collection and Archive is situated in the Marx Memorial
Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU, UK
The website address for the Printers Collection is:
Please feel free to add this information to your union magazines,
newsletters, e-bulletins, websites and blog sites!