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Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners Archive

Date range: 1878-1977

Number of items:

The Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners was one of the most important trades unions in the Lancashire cotton industry. Although its membership was comparatively small, the Association exercised considerable influence within the cotton spinning industry. The Association was responsible for wage bargaining and working conditions, although its local branches, particularly those in Bolton and Oldham, also played a significant role in these activities.

The archive comprises the records of the Association's headquarters, and includes correspondence files relating to wage bargaining, working conditions and industrial diseases (in particular epithelioma, or ‘mule spinner’s cancer’), as well as industry-wide issues such as protectionism, cotton supply and relations with government. There are also financial records, compensation claim records and printed literature relating to the cotton industry and trades unionism.

Few records have survived from the 19th century; most date from the period 1940 to 1976, and the collection is particularly informative for the Lancashire cotton industry's period of decline.

The archive is an important source for the history of the trade union movement in Britain, and of the rise and decline of the Lancashire cotton industry.

See also:

Bolton and District Operative Cotton Spinners' Provincial Association Archive

Further Information:

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.