Original Society of Papermakers

Scope and Content

Few records have survived, including papers kept by chance and found within later correspondence. They include: minutes, 1799 and 1803; reports, 1853 and 1897.

Administrative / Biographical History

Most probably arising from wage disputes at the end of the 18th century, the Original Society of Papermakers was founded in 1800 as the trade union for workers in the hand-made paper business. Early factional disputes and trade pride prevented the OSP from expanding into machine-based mills. Consequently membership dwindled to just 83 by 1947 when the Executive Council sought a merger with the NUPBPW which was achieved in 1948.

Reference: C.J. Bundock, The Story of the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paper Workers (Oxford, 1959)

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/using/

Other Finding Aids

Custodial History

The records of the Original Society of Papermakers were deposited at the Modern Records Centre in 1994 together with the papers of SOGAT and its other predecessor unions. They form part of the large Graphical, Paper and Media Union collection (MSS.39) of printing trade union records.

Related Material

See also: Amalgamated Society of Papermakers; National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paper Workers