Records of Aberdeen Fish Curers and Merchants Association

Scope and Content

This deposit provides a full record of the Association's activities for the period 1888 - 1947. It comprises minutes, May 1888 - Jun 1947, copy letter books, Sept 1936 - Oct 1942, cash books, 1889 - 1942, and printed Constitution and Standing Orders of the Association, Mar 1936. The minutes and letter books are of particular interest for the detailed information which they contain about the state of fishing and fish trade industries in Aberdeen, and nationally, from the late nineteenth century until the years immediately after the Second World War. They provide a record of the Association's relationships with related organisations, Trade Unions and the Ministry of Food, in matters such as fair trading, working conditions and pricing agreements.

Administrative / Biographical History

The association was established in May 1888, as Aberdeen Fish Trade Association, and was incorporated with its present title in 1944. It began in response to the introduction of sales by auction in the late nineteenth century, its first achievement being an agreement amongst fish sellers to provide discounts for cash sales to accredited buyers. The purpose of this agreement was to put the fish trade of Aberdeen on a more firm and substantial footing with regard to the paying of fish bought on the pier and in particular, to exclude the large number of bogus buyers who had not the means to pay for what they were bidding for, harassing the legitimate buyers and putting the trade in a very bad condition, hurtful alike to both seller and buyer (GB 231 MS 3054/1). In 1936 its objectives were broadly defined to promote and protect the interests of its members (GB 231 MS 3054/15). Membership was open to wholesale fish merchants and fish curers carrying on a business in Aberdeen, and in 1980 stood at more than 200. The Association is perhaps unique in that it manufactures boxes of cardboard and wood for member companies.


Arranged by record type, and chronologically therein

Access Information

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University in 1980

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen. Contents of this list are searchable on-line at, via the Historic Collections database. A copy of this list (reference NRA 21662) is also available at the Historical Manuscripts Commission, Quality House, Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London, WC2A IHP.

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 ( 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

Records of Aberdeen Shipmasters Society (ref GB 231 MS 2940 and MS 3070) and crew lists and agreements for Aberdeen trawlers (ref. GB 231 MS 2791) are also held in this repository. Printed reports and syllabus of the Aberdeen Fish Trade Literary and Debating Society, 1905 - 1911, are held in the University's Local Collection. Full reference details are available in Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original