The archive of working class autobiographies at Brunel University Library was gathered together by John Burnett, David Mayall and David Vincent during their compilation of their three volume annotated bibliography The autobiography of the working class (Harvester Press, Brighton, 1984-1989). The authors "sought to identify not only the large numbers of printed works scattered in various Local History Libraries and Record Offices, but also extant private memoirs, many of which remain hidden in family attics, known only to the author and a handful of relatives" (introduction to volume 1, p29). The criteria for inclusion in the autobiography were that the writers were "working class" for at least part of their lives, that they wrote in English and that they lived for some time in England, Scotland or Wales between 1790 and 1945. The autobiography indicates the location of unpublished items (over 230), which comprise the archive kept at Brunel, many of these are photocopies of the originals, which were then returned to the authors. Approximately 130 others have since been added to the collection.