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Warwick Profiles - Modern Record Centre

Modern Records Centre buildingDepartment: Modern Records Centre.

Location within the University: ground floor of the library extension (we have our own entrance on the other side of the building to the main library entrance).

Function/role of the department: the Modern Records Centre holds a unique resource of nationally important archives for the study of social, economic and political history from around 1850 to the present day. We are the main repository in the country for the national archives of trade unions and employers organisations in a wide range of industries. These archives include those of the Trades Union Congress and the Confederation of British Industries and its predecessors.

We also hold records relating specifically to the motor industry, including the large and diverse collection of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, and the National Cycling Archive. Also strongly represented in our holdings are left-of-centre political organisations, pressure groups such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Amnesty International, and notable individuals who were active in the fields reflected by our holdings and who often had a connection to the University’s local area. Perhaps the best-known of these is Richard Crossman, the Labour MP for East Coventry between 1945 and 1974, and the author of frank diaries whilst a cabinet minister in the 1960s.

We also hold the University’s own archive, rare books from the library’s special collections, and all University of Warwick higher research theses. We are also the gateway for access to the BP company archive. Our role is to add to our existing holdings in accordance with our collecting policy, to ensure the physical preservation of the material we hold, and to make it available for research.

Works closely with: actual and potential depositors or donors of archives; organisations and individuals, both within and outside the University, with interests in the fields covered by our holdings; other organisations concerned with archives.

Current projects: cataloguing the vast archive of the Transport and General Workers' Union, one of the largest trade unions in the country.

Future projects: introducing new cataloguing software to eventually enhance access to our holdings.

Recent successes: staging well-received induction sessions for library colleagues under the auspices of the West Midlands Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.