Records of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (Aberdeen branches)

Scope and Content

Amalgamated Engineering Union:

  • Minutes, 1927 - 1946
  • Proposition and entrance book, 1936 - 1945

Amalgamated Society of Engineers:

  • Minutes, 1919 - 1927
  • Registration books, 1863 - 1925
  • Proposition and entrance books, 1833 - 1937
  • Initiatory address of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Machinists, Millwrights, Smiths and Pattern Makers, est. 1 Jan 1851 (1890)

Friendly Union of Mechanics:

  • Minutes, 1848 - 1852
  • Members' register, 1832 - 1851
  • Registration book, 1833 - 1862

Administrative / Biographical History

The Amalgamated Engineering Union [A.E.U.] was formed on 1 July 1920, by the merger of ten separate unions involved in the engineering industry. Its formation was due mainly to the efforts of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers [A.S.E.], who had actively encouraged such a step since its own inception in 1851. The A.S.E. was originally known under the longer title of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Machinists, Smiths, Millwrights and Patternmakers [A.S.E.M.S.M.P.]. It was formed through amalgamation of the Journeymen Steam Engine, Machine Makers and Millwrights Friendly Society (often referred to as the "Old Mechanics' " Society, active in most industrial towns by the mid-nineteenth century), the Smiths Benevolent Sick and Burial Society, and several smaller, like-minded societies involved in engineering-related industries.

Since the late 1960s mergers with other unions have led to several name changes for the A.E.U. After joining with the Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers in 1968, it became the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers. And after merging with the Draughtsmen and Allied Technicians' Association, and the Constructional Engineering Union, in 1970, it became the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers.

Aberdeen Mechanics' Society was founded in the city in 1824. It became part of the A.S.W in 1851, in line with other mechanics' societies in the country at this time.

James Bavington Jeffery's The Story of the Engineers, 1800 - 1945 (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1946) contains more details about the organisation and its activities. 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, 1967 and 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

GB 231 MS 2667: Records of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (Aberdeen District), 1939 - 1962


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Geographical Names