Labour Research September 2012

LRD Centenary

LRD archive

In 2005, the archives of the Labour Research Department (LRD) were transferred to London Metropolitan University to join the TUC Library Collections.

The archive contains both LRD publications and much unpublished material from the formation of the LRD onwards. Material relating to the principle functions of the LRD include: minutes and papers of the executive committee, the finance and general purposes committee and the research committee; correspondence; early papers and histories; and material relating to publications, conferences and enquiries.

The archive explains the origins of the LRD. A Committee of Inquiry into the Control of Industry was set up by the Fabian Society in 1912 to produce an alternative plan for the future organisation of British industry.

In 1913, the Committee became the Fabian Research Department, producing research reports and other publications. Five years later the name changed to the Labour Research Department and it concentrated on supplying unions and other groups with information to use in negotiations, political debates and public meetings.

Other prominent names in the records include: the historian Robin Page Arnot, who was secretary of the LRD between 1914 and 1925, writer and journalist GDH Cole and Barbara Drake, the author of the influential book Women in trade unions.

The archive is available to researchers who must make an appointment to view it with the TUC Library Collections, London Metropolitan University — telephone 0207 133 3726, e-mail: [email protected]

The catalogue of the archive can be seen online at