This collection comprises assorted records relating to the twentieth century labour movement. It was originally collected together at Ruskin College, Oxford under the title of the 'Abe Lazarus Memorial Library and Archive', in commemoration of the notable Oxford trade union campaigner Abraham 'Abe' Lazarus, who died in 1967.
An appeal for material was made in c.1969 by Honorary Curator, Colin R. Sherman, and the collection was officially opened at the May Day celebrations in 1970. Initially the focus of material was intended to be Oxfordshire and the south Midlands, but the collection also contains material from organisations and contributors from much further afield, and which would normally fall outside the collecting scope of Oxfordshire History Centre (OHC).
The scope of the collection also expanded to include a sequence of working class autobiographical writings, which have been brought together into one sequence at O45/26.
The decision has been taken to keep all of the material together in a single collection, with one exception. The records of the Oxford and District Trades Council (later renamed the Oxford and District Trades Union Council), which were originally in the Ruskin College collection at reference MSS 8/1-45 have been separately catalogued as collection O44. OHC had already received a separate deposit from the Trades Council, so these two elements have been brought together as a single catalogue sequence.
This collection was deposited with Oxfordshire History Centre as accession 5639 in May 2007, and was catalogued between October 2015 and March 2017 by Hannah Jones.