Papers of David Michaelson (1912-1975), trade unionist and Communist

Scope and Content

This collection contains: accounts, 1942-1962; correspondence and subject files concerning events in Michaelson's life, 1929-1976, 'The New Propellor'/'Metal Worker',1941-1964, the engineering industry, 1940-1963, politics, 1946-1973; published and draft writings by Michaelson, c1952-c1962; film made by the workers of Denham Film Studios, 1942.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Michaelson (1912-1975) was born in Edinburgh, but came to London in his teens. There he took up employment in the engineering industry and joined the Communist Party. He was shop stewards' convenor at the Lagonda Works, Staines, during the Second World War. At this time he became a member of the Engineering and Allied Trades Shop Stewards National Council, contributing to its official organ, 'The New Propellor' (later re-titled 'The Metal Worker'). An activist in the forefront of the shop stewards' movement, Michaelson became editor of 'The Metal Worker' in 1953, remaining in that capacity until it ceased publication in 1963. He stood for Parliament as the Communist candidate for West Willesden in 1950. In addition to his journalistic output, Michaelson was the author of numerous short stories and poems, leaving many unfinished drafts at his death.

Access Information

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

The political series of correspondence and subject files in this collection (MSS.233/3/4/1-10) are open, but access to any other unpublished records is subject to the permission of Ms Nina Kelly, granddaughter of David Michaelson, which can be applied for via the Modern Records Centre (

Other Finding Aids

Custodial History

The collection was deposited with the Centre in 1982 by David Michaelson's son, Mr. John Michaelson.

Related Material

Records of the Engineering and Allied Trades Shop Stewards National Council.