New book: Sexual orientation at work


Fiona Colgan, Senior Lecturer in Employment Relations and HRM at London Met University, has very kindly donated a copy of her new book, edited with Nick Rumens,  Sexual Orientation at Work: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives.

You can visit the TUC Library if you would like to consult it, or it is available via the publishers:


Collections on Trident, nuclear disarmament and pacifism


The future of the Trident nuclear deterrent system has been significant in the General Election campaigned so far, largely due to the polls claiming significant gains for the SNP in Scotland.

Items in the TUC Library document some of the opposition to nuclear weapons and specifically to Trident when it was introduced in the 1980s:

Anti-Trident poster produced by the Civil and Professional Services Association, 1984

Anti-Trident poster produced by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1984










We also have an extensive collection that covers issues of pacifism, the international anti-war movement and campaigns against the armaments industry.

Various elements of the labour and trade union movement opposed the First World War on religious, political and economic grounds. These views are represented in the collections:

Conscription enters the workshops, 1916

Anti-war cartoon from New Zealand, 1914











On the eve of the Second World War the National Council of Labour – comprising the TUC, the Labour Party and the Parliamentary Labour Party – issued a message to the German workers opposing fascism and calling on them to oppose the war:

“British Labour’s message to the German people”, 1939

The war was also significant in its aftermath, with the outbreak of peace being greeted with a mood of national solidarity instrumental in the creation of the welfare state:

“Plan for Peace” sets out the Labour Party’s programme for post-war reconstruction, 1945

To find out more about the collections, get in touch at 020 7133 3726,




Workers before, during and after the 1916 East Rising


The TUC Library attended an event Workers before, during and after the 1916 East Rising at London Met last night. It was standing room only. as we heard talks from Marian Larragy from the London Irish Feminist Network and Geoff Bell, historian. Both spoke about progressive movements common causes for liberty and equality in Ireland, and among the Irish in England and Wales, describing  the often ignored important role of women and the support of the left and trade unions.

We held a display of pamphlets (see above) for people to see what we have in the TUC Library related to Irish independence and the labour movement in Ireland.


Election manifestos through the years


A selection of General Election manifestos from the 1960s to 2005

The various political parties have published their General Election manifestos this week. As we wait to take delivery of the new manifestos, we have taken a look back at the collection of former election manifestos that the TUC Library holds.

As you can see from the selection in the photo above, the library holds a broad collection of manifestos from the major parties for all the elections in the post-war period. From the 1964 election which gave Labour’s Harold Wilson a slim majority, to Edward Heath’s 1974 question of “Who governs Britain?”, to Blair’s New Labour revolution of the 1990s, the manifestos document the development of Britain’s national politics.

If you’re interested in elections and would like to consult the manifestos for research purposes, get in touch at 020 7133 3726 or


TUC Library featured in BBC’s Antiques Roadshow Detectives


Filming taking place in the TUC Library back in December 2014

You may remember that back in December we blogged about filming that took place in the TUC Library on the subject of the Order of Industrial Heroism.

That programme, the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow Detectives, aired yesterday at 6.30pm on BBC2. If you missed it, you can catch up on iPlayer here:

The programme follows one of the descendants of a recipient of the Order of Industrial Heroism, awarded by the Daily Herald newspaper between 1923 – 1964, for extraordinary acts of bravery undertaken in the workplace.

If you would like to know more about the Order, or have any questions prompted by the programme, get in touch with us at 020 7133 3726 or email



Irish History Month – Workers before, during and after the 1916 Easter Rising

A collection of articles and pamphlets on Irish Independence

Look at our new Pinterest Board based on the TUC Library’s collection on Irish independence

The Irish Studies Centre and the Working Lives Research Institute (WLRI) are pleased to invite you to a seminar they are co-hosting on the eve of the 99th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, as part of Irish History Month.

Date: Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Free and open to all

Time: 6pm to 8pm

London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road
London N7 8DB

Room: TM1-47 (Tower Building).


  • Marian Larragy from the London Irish Feminist Network will speak on the role of the workers, especially, the Irish Women’s Union led by Rosie Hackett.
  • Geoff Bell, a historian, will speak on the role of Irish workers in Britain who were impacted by the 1916 Easter Rising.

Hosted by the Irish Studies Centre and the Working Lives Research Institute.

Further details from: Austin Harney, Secretary of the London 1916 Easter Rising Centenary Committee:


See our latest Pinterest Board on Irish Independence


From Easter Island….. to Easter Rising….. and Easter Break


We’re constantly surprised by what we find in the TUC Library, on almost any topic.

On the subject of Easter, we have a 1958 book on Easter Island in our Marjorie Nicholson archive by Thor Heyerdahl:

We have a fascinating collection on the history of Ireland, including the 1916 Easter Rising:

And as you might expect, the TUC has had lots to say about public holidays and encouraging employers to give their workers an Easter break, such as this publication from 2002:

The TUC Library will be closed for our Easter break from Thursday 2nd April – Monday 6th April inclusive. We re-open on Tuesday 7th April.