Records of the Scottish Operative Coachmakers' Union (Aberdeen)

Scope and Content

Minutes of the Aberdeen branch of the Scottish Operative Coachmakers' Union, 1891 - 1895, with attendance register, 1892 - 1896, and inaugural meeting of the Aberdeen Coachmakers' Literary Club, 18 December 1896.

Administrative / Biographical History

An Aberdeen branch of the Scottish Operative Coachmakers' Union was formed on 2 April 1891, and is known to have existed until 1896. In December 1896, its members formed the Aberdeen Coachmakers' Literary Club, whose object was the intellectual and social culture of its members, the promotion of the study of the art of carriage buildings, and of social questions (Minutes of the Aberdeen Coachmakers' Literary Club, 18 Dec 1896, ref. GB 231 MS 2984).

There were two Scottish Operative Coachmakers' unions in existence by 1891, but it is not known to which of these the Aberdeen branch was affiliated. The oldest union was the Scottish Association of Operative Coachmakers, which affiliated to the TUC in 1874 and later merged with the National Union of Vehicle Builders. The second was the Scottish Operative Coachmakers' Association, formed with 52 members, in 1892, but dissolved in 1895 - the date span of the records deposited here suggests that the Aberdeen group was affiliated to this second union.

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.


Single item

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Donated to the University in December 1978, by Thomas Hay, of Aberdeen

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 2672: Records of the National Union of Vehicle Builders (Aberdeen Branch), 1891 - 1966


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Geographical Names