Collection GB 097 - Webb: Trade Union papers

Identity area

Reference code

GB 097


Webb: Trade Union papers


  • 1814 - 1924 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

298 volumes

Context area

Archival history

The Webbs pooled their respective talents into writing joint works on economic and social issues. This partnership produced books such as The history of Trade Unionism, 1666-1920 (1894), Industrial democracy (1897), and Problems of Modern Industry (1898). Their work spread into areas such as historical and social research, educational and political reform and journalism, and much of what they produced altered the perceptions of economists and social historians, who had previously ignored the working classes. For a biographical history of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, see the description for the Passfield personal papers (Ref: Passfield).

Given by Sidney Webb in 1939. A further deposit was made in 1948. The collection was formerly known as Coll E/Trade Union Collection. Section D, the Trade Union journals, has been continually added to since the original deposit.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Materials on trade unionism collated by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, [1814-1924], mainly during research for The history of trade unionism, 1666-1920 (Longmans and Co, London, 1894), Industrial democracy (Longmans and Co, London, 1897) and other works, including manuscript notes relating to various trades, pamphlets and printed material concerning trade unions, trade union rule books, and printed reports and other periodical material.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The material is mainly arranged according to trade or union.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open. Some of the volumes are available on microfilm. Section D of the collection is issued at the main Library issue desk.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is held by the LSE. No documents may be photocopied. Microfilm copies of some volumes.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

The physical condition of the volumes is fragile and care should be taken when handling them.

Finding aids

Printed handlist available. The majority of the collection is catalogued according to union in the main Library catalogue.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

There is also material concerning trade unionism in the Passfield papers (Ref: Passfield). For a full list of material relating to the Webbs in the Library and elsewhere, see the description for the Passfield papers.

Related descriptions

Publication note

Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97; Historical Manuscripts Commission National Register of Archives. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English


  • Latin

Archivist's note

Jakub Benes, UOB

Accession area