British Iron and Steel Federation (BISF) and associated bodies

Scope and Content

Most of these records were created by the BISF central secretariat, which arranged them under the following headings; development and overseas; committees (easily the largest section); conferences and constituent associations, finance, general; raw materials; overses trade; prices and costs; Europe; public relations; Iron and Steel Board; nationalisation. There are also records from the market development, international and legal departments, records of other bodies closely linked to the BISF, and records created by the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers, the immediate predecessor of the BISF.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1934, as a condition of substantial tariff protection for the British steel industry, the government caused the industry to form the British Iron and Steel Federation . After the war, during which the industry's output was tightly controlled by government, the Federation re-emerged with the task of making a development plan for the post war industry, a plan which was in fact implemented very substantially over the next ten years. It remained a federation of mostly quite small, often local, associations which conducted the day-to-day affairs of their sections of the industry with significant independence, but with advice from a large central federation staff on technical matters including research and standards, statistics, training, market development, exports, procurement of raw materials for virtually the whole industry and policy towards government.

The Federation survived the nugatory nationalisation of 1951 but then had to adapt itself, following denationalisation in 1953, to a new statutory control regime principally consisting of an Iron and Steel Board, which had powers to set maximum prices for steel and to control the industry's plant development. On 31 October 1967 the BISF was dissolved and its affairs were then wound up by a committee appointed by the British Steel Corporation and the British Independent Steel Producers Association.


The original arrangement of the records has been retained wherever this was apparent.

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See

Acquisition Information

These records were among a series of deposits made by British Steel plc and the UK Steel Association between 1995 and 1999.

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Related Material

The deposits made in the Centre by British Steel plc also include records of the BISF's predecessor, the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers, a number of regional and sectional iron and steel employers' organisations associated with the BISF, the statutory Iron and Steel Board and the nationalised British Steel Corporation. The Centre also holds records deposited by the BISF's successor, the UK Steel Association (earlier the British Independent Steel Producers Association and the British Iron and Steel Producers Association) which include records inherited from the BISF.