Working Class Movement Library
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent
0161 736 3601
0161 737 4115
Working people have always struggled to get their voices heard. The Working Class Movement Library records over 200 years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women. Our collection provides a rich insight into working people's daily lives as well as their thoughts, hopes, fears and the roles they played in the significant events of their time.
We have information on:
• The trades and lives of people who worked in the past - brushmakers, silk workers, tailors, boilermakers and others
• Trade unions, where people have banded together to improve their working conditions
• Politics and campaigns, from Chartism to the General Strike and more recent protests
• Creativity and culture - drama, literature, music, art and leisure
• Important people who have led activist lives
• International events such as the Spanish Civil War, and aspects of Irish history
Much of this information is held in books, pamphlets or leaflets. Many more stories are told by our photos, banners and tape recordings.
Our collection captures many points of view to tell the story of Britain's working classes from the beginning of industrialisation to the present day.
Our oldest items date from the 1760s. From the 1820s we have some of the earliest trade union documents to have survived.
We have material on politics of all shades and come right up to date with the archive of Jim Allen, the Manchester-born screenwriter who worked on Coronation Street and collaborated with film director Ken Loach.
Tuesday 10.00a.m. until 5.00p.m.
Wednesday 10.00a.m. until 5.00p.m.
Thursday 10.00a.m. until 5.00p.m.
Friday 10.00a.m. until 5.00p.m.
Saturday 10.00a.m. until 4.00p.m - third Sat of each month only, and by appointment
Closed: Sundays, Mondays
Admission to the library is free.
Everyone is welcome to drop by to view our ground floor displays. To use the reading room to study, please contact us in advance to make an appointment.
There are important collections on Thomas Paine, Peterloo, Chartism, rise of trade unionism, Socialism, Labour Party, Communist Party of Great Britain, Ireland, Spanish Civil War, General Strike, CND, suffragettes and suffragists, Co-operative movement.
Social History, Photography, Music, Literature, Industry, Film and Media, Archives
LGBT History Month talk - 'Unity is Strength – Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners and their lasting links of comradeship with mining communities’
- 14 February 2015 2-4pm
Our LGBT History Month speakers will be Mike Jackson, co-founder with Mark Ashton of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM), and David (Dai) Donovan, South Wales NUM. They will talk about the activities of the London LGSM and the Neath, Dulais and Swansea Valleys Miners' Support Group during the 1984/85 miners' strike, the lasting links that were formed and the lessons for today's struggles.
International Women's Day - Tansy Hoskins, 'Stitched Up'
- 7 March 2015 2-4pm
We mark International Women's Day this year with a talk by Tansy Hoskins about her book Stitched Up - The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion.
Moving between Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Marx, Stitched Up delves into the alluring world of fashion, exploring consumerism, class, and garment factories to reveal the real beneficiaries of exploitation.
This talk is part of the Wonder Women series of events