Society of Graphical and Allied Trades

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

National Amalgamated Society of Printers' Warehousemen and Cutters : minutes, 1902-14. National Union of Printing and Paper Workers: minutes, 1914-21; membership registers, 1919-21; annual reports, 1914-20. National Union of Printing, Bookbinding, Machine Ruling and Paper Workers/National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paper Workers : minutes, 1921-66; membership registers, 1921-65; correspondence files, 1926-39; annual reports, 1921-65; delegate meetings, 1923-66; rule books and directories, 1929-66; journals, 1940-66; branch and chapel records, 1919-57; agreements, 1907-62. Society of Graphical and Allied Trades : minutes, 1966-91; correspondence files particularly re amalgamation, 1969-92; annual reports, 1966-90; delegate meetings, 1966-91; rule books and directories, 1966-88; journals, 1966-91; branch and chapel records, 1968-87; agreements, 1967-9.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Society of Graphical and Allied Trades was the result of a series of amalgamations between printing unions which started at the turn of the century and culminated in 1991 with the merger of SOGAT itself with the National Graphical Association (1982) to form the Graphical, Paper and Media Union. The amalgamation process can be traced back to the foundation of the Printers' and Stationers' Warehousemen, Cutters' and Assistants' Union in 1889. This union developed an efficient central organisation under the direction of its first secretary Alf Evans and recognised the increased potential which amalgamation could bring. In 1900 the union joined with the Amalgamated Society of Printers' Warehousemen (no records from either of these unions have survived) to create the National Amalgamated Society of Printers' Warehousemen and Cutters. Over the next fourteen years smaller societies were absorbed into the society until a further amalgamation with the National Union of Paper Mill Workers occurred in 1914 to create the National Union of Printing and Paper Workers.

The position of the National Union of Printing and Paper Workers as a major player amongst printing unions was consolidated in 1921 when it merged with the National Union of Bookbinders and Machine Rulers, itself the result of a series of amalgamations, to form the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding, Machine Ruling and Paper Workers. Over the next forty-five years this union, known from 1928 by the shortened title of the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paper Workers, absorbed a variety of kindred societies. These included : the Platen Machine Minders' Society in 1924; the Amalgamated Association of Pressmen and the London Society of Machine Rulers in 1925; the Circulation and Publishing Association in 1931; the Amalgamated Society of Papermakers in 1937; the Society of Women Employed in the Bookbinding and Printing Trade (Manchester) in 1943; the Original Society of Papermakers in 1948; the Card Edge Gilders in 1961; the Monotype Casters and Typefounders' Society and the Paper Mould and Dandy Roll Makers' Society in 1962; and the Pattern Card Makers' Society in 1963.

The next major amalgamation took place in 1966 when the NUPBPW joined with the National Society of Operative Printers and Assistants under an umbrella organisation entitled the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades. Both unions maintained their independent structures, the NUPBPW as SOGAT Division A and NATSOPA as SOGAT Division 1. The aim was to achieve a complete merger over a period of time but differences led to in-fighting and in 1972 the two divisions split. NATSOPA became the National Society of Operative Printers, Graphical and Media Personnel whilst the NUPBPW retained the name SOGAT, becoming SOGAT 1975 after amalgamation with the Scottish Graphical Association in 1975. In 1982 SOGAT 1975 and NATSOPA finally agreed terms and were once more joined together as SOGAT 1982.

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

The list of the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades includes the records of its predecessor organisations. Authority files exist for this corporate body and its predecessor organisations : the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paper Workers ; the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding, Machine Ruling and Paper Workers ; the National Union of Printing and Paper Workers ; and the National Amalgamated Society of Printers' Warehousemen and Cutters .

Custodial History

The bulk of the archive of the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades and predecessor organisations was deposited in the Modern Records Centre on the 12th August 1994.

Accruals

  • March 1992: 3 volumes of histories delivered by post.
  • August 1994: Half a van load of records delivered by SOGAT haulier.