Papers of the National Union of Teachers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Executive Committee minutes, 1870-1976 [1890-1964 on microfilm]; Annual Conference minutes and reports, 1870-1936, 1947-78; Education Committee minutes, 1886-89, 1891-1977 [1894-1960 on microfilm]; Finance and General Purposes Committee minutes, 1876-1969; International Relations Committee minutes, 1931-1974; Ladies' Committee minutes, 1900-39; Law and Tenure Committee minutes, 1873-1978 [1890-1953 on microfilm]; Membership and Organisation Committee minutes, 1891-1963; Salaries and Superannuation Committee minutes, 1913-43, 1948-74; Sustentation Committees minutes, 1916-49; Welsh Committee minutes, 1906-61; Panel minutes, 1950-64; minutes of many other committees, special committees and sub-committees.

Financial records, 1871-1941; letter books, 1896-1940; Education Committee case files, 1925-70; Law and Tenure Committee case files, 1952-73; files on West Ham Strike, 1907, and Herefordshire Strike, 1913; Salaries and Superannuation Committee papers; Papers of Frank J. Maxwell, 1969-74.

Annual Reports, 1872-79, 1890-1905, 1950-89 [all with gaps]; Education Code, 1893-1908; Circular books, 1875-1972; Education Department circular books, 1950-83; college sponsorship circular books, 1951-71; Youth Review, 1964-70, 1972; miscellaneous publications.

Administrative / Biographical History

The National Union of Elementary Teachers (NUET) was established at a meeting at King's College London on 25 June 1870 to represent all school teachers in England and Wales. However, members came to consider that 'elementary teachers' was a demeaning term and after toying with the idea of changing the name to the National Union of English Teachers the name National Union of Teachers (NUT) was finally adopted at Annual Conference in April 1889. The Union remains the largest body representing school teachers in England and Wales.

The Union established offices at 7 Adam Street, Adelphi, London WC on the appointment of the first full-time Secretary in 1873. In 1889 it moved its headquarters to Bolton House, 67/71 Russell Square, London WC. In 1915, headquarters were moved to Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1, where they have remained ever since.


The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Acquisition Information

This archive was deposited in the Centre by the National Union of Teachers between 1978 and 1998.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue is currently in preparation. Various parts of the archive have previously been listed and these lists are available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom.

Authority records exist for the National Union of Teachers (GB 152 AAR0429) and the National Union of Elementary Teachers (GB 152 AAR0430).

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 expected.

Related Material

The Centre also holds the archives of several other teachers' organisations, including the National Association of Schoolmasters (MSS.38), the Association of Assistant Mistresses (MSS.59), the Assistant Masters' and Mistresses' Association (MSS.299), the Association of Head Mistresses (MSS.188), the Headmasters' Association (MSS.58), the Secondary Heads' Association (MSS.218), the Teachers' Guild/Education Guild (MSS.413 and MSS.59/TG), the National Association of Teachers of Home Economics and Technology and its predecessors (MSS.177), the Association of Teachers in Colleges and Departments of Education (MSS.176/CD) and the Association of Teachers in Technical Institutions (MSS.176/TI). There is also a range of other archives relating to education.

The papers of local branches of the NUT are held in many local record offices around the country. The archives of the National Union of Women Teachers are held by the Institute of Education at the University of London.