Original Society of Papermakers

Archive Collection

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 C18th, 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

Conditions Governing Access

Access : Open

Archivist's Note

This catalogue of the OSP Archive is also available in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives and on the National Inventory of Documentary Sources. An authority file exists for this corporate body. See also the archive of the Amalgamated Society of Papermakers in the Centre at MSS.39/SO/A .

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.