Papers of Aaron Rapoport Rollin (1885-1972), trade unionist and Jewish activist

Scope and Content

Subject files including the following: anti-semitism, 1922-1949; Jewish history, drafts of articles by Rollin, circa 1922-1972; Jewish People's Council against Fascism and Anti-Semitism, 1936-1941; Paole Zion, 1934-1971; tailoring trade unions, 1914-1971; Workers' Circle Friendly Society, 1929-1972. Publications including labour, Zionist journals, 1884-1971; press-cuttings, 1916-1972; photographs, circa 1900-1964.

Administrative / Biographical History

Aaron Rapoport (1885-1972) was born in Latvia, then part of Tsarist Russia, in 1885 and arrived in England in 1904. He later added the surname Rollin. Rollin left London for Glasgow in 1906 and became the Glasgow branch secretary of the Amalgamated Jewish Tailors', Machinists' and Pressers' Trade Union in 1913. Rollin moved to Leeds in 1916 to be secretary of the Leeds no. 2 branch. He lived in Leeds until 1934 when he became the London organizer of the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers. He remained as an official with the union until his retirement in 1951. Rollin was also notable for his involvement in raising awareness of Fascist activities in the East End of London in the late 1930s and in co-ordinating a response by Jewish organisations. He was keenly interested in Jewish historiography, especially labour history, and collected the papers of William Wess (1861-1946), the anarchist, socialist and labour organiser, which form a separate part of the Rollin collection.

Reference: Anne Kershen, 'Uniting the Tailors: trade unionism amongst the tailors of London and Leeds, 1870-1939' (London, 1995).

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre by Dr. Henry Rollin in 1982.

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Modern Records Centre also holds archives of William Wess (MSS.240W) and the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers (MSS.192/TGW).