Records of the National League of the Blind (Aberdeen Branch)

Scope and Content

Branch minutes, 1923 - 1959; minutes of Joint Industrial Advisory Committee (later Joint Industrial Council) for Scottish Workshops for the Blind, 1948 - 1966; minutes of the National Executive Council of the National League of the Blind, 1954 - 1964; minutes of Scottish District Council executive committees, 1945 - 1962.

Administrative / Biographical History

The National League of the Blind was established in 1899. Its name was changed to the National League of the Blind and Disabled in 1968.

The Aberdeen Branch of the National League of the Blind was formed in 1907 by workers in Aberdeen Asylum for the Blind; although blind workers had been represented at Aberdeen Trades Council since 1886, when Mr John Keir, Secretary of the Aberdeen Branch of the Blind Association, and his colleague, Mr. Johnstone, were admitted as delegates. In 1935, members of the League successfully persuaded the Town Council to transfer care of the necessitous blind from the unwelcome jurisdiction of the P.A.C. to the Public Health Committee, and at the same time to inaugurate a scheme of domiciliary assistance . By taking this step, Aberdeen became the first municipality in Scotland to remove the stigma of pauperism from blind welfare . Glasgow, Dundee and other Scottish towns followed this lead soon after.

Further information about the development of the trade union movement and the history of individual trade unions in Aberdeen can be found in William Diack, History of the Trades Council and the Trade Union Movement in Aberdeen (Aberdeen: Aberdeen Trades Council, 1939), and in Kenneth D. Buckley, Trade Unionism in Aberdeen 1870 - 1900 (Edinburgh and London: Oliver and Boyd, 1955). Arthur Marsh and Victoria Ryan, Historical Directory of Trade Unions, 4 vols (Aldershot: Gower, 1980 - 1984) also contains useful information about the development of individual unions, at both the national and local level. Summarised details from each of these sources has been used in compiling this collection level description.


Arranged by record type, and chronologically therein

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University in Dec 1968.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen. Contents of this list are searchable on-line at , via the Historic Collections database.

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: ) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures


No accruals expected

Related Material

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Additional Information

This material is original

Geographical Names