UNL's TUC library wins lottery grant

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date: July 3 2001

embargo: immediate

Attention: industrial correspondents

The University of North London has been awarded a £175,000 grant from the New Opportunities Fund to create an online library of resources, which illustrate the history of working people and the Trade Union movement. The project is a University/Trade Union Congress (TUC) Partnership Initiative entitled TUC HISTORY ON-LINE and will be based on documents and images from the TUC Library Collections held at the University.

The project will create a web resource to improve access to heritage material in the TUC collections. This will involve the digitisation of documents and images and creation of text links. The content will result in a timeline from 1860-2000 illustrated by images, short video clips and metadata using four key resources: The TUC Congress Reports, General Strike Collection, the manuscript of 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' by Robert Tressell and the 1888 Matchgirls’ Strike Register.

The University and the TUC will publicise the online library through publications, courses, study programmes and their web-sites, with the aim of attracting lifelong learners, union members, schoolteachers and students, academics, the media and the public in general.

Vice Chancellor Brian Roper said: 'The documents held in the TUC Library Collections, form a significant part of the national heritage. This grant will allow universal access to these materials through the World Wide Web.'

TUC General Secretary, John Monks said: "This grant presents us with a marvellous opportunity to do justice at long last to this amazing collection. Trade unions have played, and will continue to play, a decisive role in shaping economic and social developments in Britain - yet much of their history is at present unknown and inaccessible to the public. This welcome NOF grant can change all that.'

Notes to Editors

In June 2000, the TUC Library Collections was awarded a grant of £80,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a web-accessible catalogue of British Trade Union publications. This work started in January 2001 and thousands of titles are already available on the University’s online catalogue. The Collections have also received grants from the British Library, the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, and other bodies to assist the cataloguing and conservation of various archives and the University is currently seeking funding to improve access to other special collections.

Researchers will be able to view this material at the University of North London by making an appointment on 020 7753 3184

Notes to Editors:

All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

A series of TUC rights leaflets are available on our website and from the know your rights line 0870 600 4 882. Lines are open every day from 8am-10pm. Calls are charged at the national rate.

Contacts:

Media enquiries: TUC Isobel Larkin on 020 7467 1288 or 07699 744115 (pager)

UNL Emma Griffths 020 7973 4896

Other enquiries: Christine Coates, Trade Union Congress Library 020 7753 3184

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