Records of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (Aberdeen District)

Scope and Content

Records of Aberdeen District District and committee minutes, 1943 - 1962; agreements between the Engineering and Allied Employers' Federation (and other employers' organisations), and the A.E.U. (and other employees' organisations) re. wages and working conditions, 1939 - 1961; list of candidates standing for local and district offices, 1949 - 1962; Secretary's correspondence (mainly with local employers and re. claims, disputes, hours etc.), 1940 - 1964

Records of Aberdeen branches minutes, 1945 - 1949

Printed papers of the A.E.U. Final appeal court proceeding reports, 1948 - 1961; financial reports, 1947 - 1961; half-yearly reports, 1954 - 1961; A.E.U. printed literature, 1948 - 1961; A.E.U. national committee reports, 1946 - 1961; A.E.U. national quarterly reports, 1956 - 1961; A.E.U. national rules revision meetings, 1949 - 1960; A.E.U. women's conference reports, 1950 - 1961; A.E.U. youth conference reports, 1947 - 1961; Journal of the Amalgamated Engineering Union, 1946 - 1961; Women's Angle, 1959 - 1961

Other printed papers Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions reports, wage agreements, correspondence and circulars, 1947 - 1962; Government-issued pamphlets and other publications re. engineering, working conditions, wages etc., 1946 - 1961; pamphlets and other publications issued by the Labour Party, the Co-operative Party, Trade Union Congress, United States Information Service, other organisations and unions, 1949 - 1960; newspaper cuttings re. engineering, wage and other disputes (mainly local), 1955 - 1962

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 , and 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, The Story of the Engineers, 1800 - 1945 (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1946) contains more details about the organisation. A copy of this publication is included in the collection (ref. GB 231 MS 2667/10/1). 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 in 1967, by James Thom, District Secretary, Amalgamated Engineering Union (Aberdeen District).

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen.

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 2640: Records of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (Aberdeen branches), 1832 - 1946


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Geographical Names