Papers from the Guild Socialist Movement, c.1915-1926

Scope and Content

These papers are a collection of records of the Guild Socialist movement from 1915 to the mid 1920s, including correspondence in the late 1930s. They include National Guild League minute books, propaganda publications, material from overseas (including America, Australia, India and Japan), special interest groups (including agriculture, women and the Douglas credit scheme) and League conference material.

Administrative / Biographical History

Guild Socialism was a British movement founded in 1906 by Samuel Hobson and was active in the early 20th century before being disbanded in 1923. Labour workers were encouraged to participate in national guilds which were in an "implied contractual relationship with the public" (Britannica, 2012) to regain control of British industry. The organised form of Guild Socialism, the National Guilds League, was active between 1915 and 1925. (Source: "Guild Socialism." Encyclopedia Britannica, February 9, 2012.


By boxes as follows: League conferences 1 and 2, National Guild Council, Guilds, Guilds continued, Guilds and special subjects, Special subjects and localities, Localities, Propaganda, Propaganda and office routine, National Guild League minute books 1 and 2, Publications.

Access Information

By prior appointment only. Application in writing (letter or email) to the Assistant Librarian (Archives). See Nuffield College Archives location page for more details.

Other Finding Aids

The handlist for the Guild Socialism collection can be found [online] Link:

Custodial History

The papers were in the possession of J.P. Bedford who, with his wife, was exceedingly active in the National Guilds League over the whole period of its existence. When he died, his wife asked G.D.H. Cole to present the records to the Library at Nuffield College in 1954.

Personal Names