The Bateman Collection

Scope and Content

The Bateman Collection contains a large variety of documents on the printing trade, as well as information on left-wing politics in Britain throughout the 20th Century, particularly the Independent Labour Party, and information on Communism and Socialism, both national and international. The Collection also contains a substantial catalogue of books and other printed material which compliment the subjects dealt with in the primary sources. There is also a collection of material relating to the Haemophilia Society and the Bristol&South-West Group.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edith P. Bateman was born in Barrow-in-Furness in 1914; she died in Bristol in 2003, having been a teacher and head teacher. Donald (Don) Bateman was born in 1919 in Leeds, and became a printer's apprentice at John Waddington Ltd. in Leeds upon leaving school in 1934. His childhood and education were disturbed by him being a heamophiliac. He held a City and Guilds Silver Medal and two full Technological Certificates in Printing from Leeds Technical College and the Merchant Venturers' Technical College, Bristol, and was one of the first printers to be elected to the Licentiateship of the City and Guilds of London in 1979. He also studied for a BA with the Open University and an MA in Applied History at Bristol Polytechnic, as well as receiving a PhD from the CNAA, supervised by Bristol Polytechnic and Bristol University, in 1990. He was head of the department of Printing and Graphic Communication at Brunel College of Technology and in retirement became chairman of the College Board of Governors. He and Edith always retained a keen interest in Socialism and left-wing politics, and they have gradually built up a collection of works on Socialist and Communist history, the Spanish Civil War, and socialist politics in 20th Century Britain.


The Collection is organised within boxes by subject. The main categories are as follows:

  • Anti-War Movements
  • Communism
  • Communist Party of Great Britain
  • Independent Labour Party, including minute books of the branches in Bristol (1906-1965), Birmingham (1928-1950) and South West London (1911-1920).
  • Printing Industry, History and Technology
  • Socialism
  • Soviet Union
  • Spanish Civil War
  • Workers Party of Marxist Unification (P.O.U.M.)

Access Information

Accessible to all bona fide readers.

Acquisition Information

The Collection is a generous gift from Edith and Donald Bateman and a partial recognition of the generosity of Bristol University Library in allowing Don to study therein when he was a part-time student.


Compiled by Martin Hall, Assistant Archivist, University of Bristol Information Services - Special Collections.

Other Finding Aids

Typescript catalogue available in Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to copy must be obtained from the University of Bristol Information Services - Special Collections.


Mr. Bateman, who maintains a keen interest in his Collection, continues to add new material regularly.