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Last updated:19 November 2018

If you are thinking of donating material to the Library

The Library welcomes donations of relevant material and we are particularly keen to receive donations of more recent items.  Please look at this outline of what we collect, to help you decide whether we are the most suitable place for the item(s) you are thinking of donating.

As we have catalogued a large proportion of our collection it is important that you check our online catalogue to see if we already have the item(s) you are thinking of donating before contacting us.  We do not keep duplicate copies of any items.

Row of Jack London books








We actively collect …

  • Records, of any date, relating to all aspects of the British working class movement including records of individuals, trades unions, political parties and organisations, societies, charities and other institutionsBlacksmiths union image
  • Books
  • Serials including newspapers, magazines and annual reports
  • Pamphlets, leaflets and ephemera
  • Photographs, posters, prints and original artwork
  • Original sound recordings and transcripts


In the subject areas …

Workplace rights and struggles, including:

  • The story of trade unions through their journals, rule books, minutes, agreements and conference reports
  • Campaigning materials, often produced by the unions themselves, but also including papers of individual activists, strike committees, and pit and factory papers
  • Solidarity campaigns such as miners’ support groups during the 1984-85 strike
  • Collective action in a world of precarious employment
  • Campaigning work of unions and other bodies on issues of gender, disability and racial equality both within the workplace and beyond.

Campaigning for political and social change, including:

Socialism and the radical left, including:

Internationalism, peace and workers’ solidarity, including:

Working class life and culture, including:

  • Social, cultural and recreational activities in a political context, e.g. the Red Rope socialist walking and climbing club’s archive
  • Paintings, posters, songs and novels
  • Campaigning on issues such as housing, public health and education.  


Geographical scope

The Library collects materials relating to the working class movement across the UK and the British Isles more generally.  However, we will always give consideration to our own and other institutions’ existing holdings and to the best interests of users wishing to consult these materials before accepting any material

We actively collect material relating to the geographical area of Salford, Greater Manchester and the surrounding region. In the case of materials of less-than-national significance relating to other regions and localities, we will normally advise prospective donors of more accessible or appropriate repositories.

We hold an important Irish collection and collect original materials relating to the history of the Irish in Britain, but we do not collect original records of the working class movement in Ireland.

Book covered in stickers


We normally only collect material in the English language.


Further details

More details about the scope of our existing collections can be found on our Web site at www.wcml.org.uk/our-collections.   Our online catalogue gives information about individual items we hold – although not all material has yet been catalogued.

A full copy of our collection development policy is available on request.

We hope that this guide has been useful in helping you decide whether we are the appropriate place for your donation. If you would like to discuss a potential donation of material to the Library, please contact us at info @ wcml.org.uk or 0161 736 3601.


October 2018