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Collections policy


The purpose of this policy is to define the key areas of collecting interest of the Modern Records Centre and any limitations to its collections.


Revisions to this policy must be approved by the University of Warwick.


The Centre was founded in October 1973 with the principal objectives of:

locating primary sources for British social, political and economic history, with special concentration on the history of industrial relations, industrial politics and labour history

preserving these for posterity, in the Centre, or by transfer to a more appropriate repository

making them available for research (involving the preparation and disseminating of finding-aids and operation of a research facility)


The Modern Records Centre (MRC) collects records in the following areas:

Industrial relations and industrial politics at national level including the records of trade unions and related organisations

Records of trade associations, employers’ organisations and related bodies

Motor and related industry records (especially through formal agreement with Rover/British Motor Industry Heritage Trust)

Records of radical British political movements

Records of pressure groups and other organisations concerned with social and penal reform, human rights, disarmament, education and health

Papers of individuals containing significant information on any of these fields

Printed and digital material related to any of these fields

Geographical and other constraints

In general, industrial relations records strongly linked to a particular area have been collected by repositories within that area, eg. Scottish labour movement records; Yorkshire woollen industry unions; Lancashire cotton industry unions.

The guidelines of the Society for the Study of Labour History in relation to local labour records are in general adhered to, with the exception of local branch records received as part of a national headquarter’s deposit. The prior collecting interests of other repositories are respected, eg. agricultural trade unionism at the Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading.

The Centre reserves the right to collect material not obviously falling within the categories above, if special circumstances obtain.

Jan 2015