Papers of Professor Willie Thompson, professor, historian and Communist Party Activist, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • National Congress of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB ) records 1967-1991
  • Scottish Congress of the CPGB records 1966-1991
  • CPGB  Scottish Committee papers 1969-1980
  • CPGB  Glasgow Branch activities and papers 1970s-1987
  • CPGB  Glasgow North Kelvin Branch papers late 1980s
  • CPGB  Wigan Branch activities 1969-1971
  • Scottish Marxist related papers 1970s and 1980s and 1975 Scottish Marxist conference
  • Miscellaneous political publications and newspapers 1960s-1991
  • Notes on Communist Party education 1970s
  • Young Communist League publications, congress reports and papers 1960s
  • National Student Committee papers 1966-1969
  • Material relating to New Times and Democratic Left
  • Publications, circulars and subject files, undated

There is also a large body of unsorted publications, circulars, cuttings and other documents.

Administrative / Biographical History

Willie Thompson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1939  and was brought up in Shetland. He graduated from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1962 and moved to Glasgow, Scotland, in the same year when he also joined the Communist Party and the YCL (Young Communists League). Willie attended teacher training college before working as a teacher for three years and went on to study for his PhD at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, from 1966 to 1969. The subject was economic history and the title Commercial Connections between Glasgow and Africa 1870-1900. Next he went to Wigan College of Technology, Wigan, Lancashire, England, to lecture until he took up his position at the new Glasgow College of Technology, Glasgow in August 1971. He continued to lecture in History at the College for 30 years during which time the college became Glasgow Polytechnic and then, in 1993, Glasgow Caledonian University. Willie became a Reader and Professor of Contemporary History, specialising in Communist and related movements. He retired in 2001 but continues to work on various writing projects and is a visiting professor at the University of Northumbria.

Willie’s political activity within the Communist Party during the 1960s included branch secretary of Glasgow Committee and Scottish Committee YCL 1962-1966; branch secretary Strathclyde students; Glasgow Committee and Scottish Committee; Scottish student organiser; National Student Committee member; and Wigan branch member, editing Wigan Red. Willie had an editorial role in Scottish Marxist (1972-1980), Scottish Pensioner (1978-1982) and Marxism Today (1986-1991). He was a member of the CP Theory and Ideology Advisory Committee (1984-1986), member of the Scottish Committee (1986-1990) and Glasgow’s Kelvin branch chairperson (1988-1991).


The material has yet to be formally arranged and listed

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Permanent loan: Willie Thompson : 2001 : ACCN 2001/37, 64

Other Finding Aids

Locations list available in the searchroom giving an outline of the archives content. The archive has yet to be formally listed.

Further information can be found via the Glasgow Caledonian University Archives homepage at

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures

Custodial History

Held by Professor Willie Thompson


None expected

Related Material

GB 1847 CPGBSC Records of the Communist Party of Great Britain Scottish Committee

Gallacher Memorial Library


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Revised by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 2 August 2002