Scottish Labour History Society Newsletter

June 2023

Blog category
Opening text

SLHS John Maclean Conference, 18 November 2023
Fund-raising for the conference has gone extraordinarily well with over £1000 raised, and donations of a venue and speakers' expenses. The Society is very grateful to all donors and notably to the sponsoring branches of UNISON and UNITE. The venue is the Scottish UNITE Offices, 145-165 West Regent Street, Glasgow, and a full day's programme is being planned which will cover all aspects of Maclean's life and work, with a range of speakers and entertainment. We are particularly pleased to announce that Emeritus Professor David Howell, a former editor of the Dictionary of Labour Biography and author of many works including A Lost Left: Studies in Socialism and Nationalism, has agreed to be a keynote speaker. The conference programme will be launched and bookings commenced shortly, and SLHS members will benefit from a discretionary conference fee.

Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival: Labour Heritage Walks
Since 2014, SLHS has run well-attended labour heritage walks for the Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival. 2023 will see us present a new programme, in partnership with Radical Glasgow Walks. Over the 15-17 September weekend, Ewan Gibbs, author of Coal Country, will engage the festival's Sensory City theme, exploring Glasgow's Carbon City; Stewart Maclennan, SLHS Chair, will offer a Red Clydeside Retrospect, probing Glasgow's self-image; and Henry Bell will introduce the radical heritage of Pollokshields. More in the forthcoming Festival programme and SLHS newsletters.

A History of Scottish Newspapers
Edinburgh University Press has published The Edinburgh History of Scottish Newspapers, 1850- 1950 by SLHS member and Emeritus Professor of history at Strathclyde University, W Hamish Fraser. Described as ‘the first comprehensive examination of daily and weekly newspapers in Scotland in the century after 1850’, it examines the city-based dailies and many local weeklies, which provided reports on international, national and local news. The book focusses on the American Civil War, parliamentary reform, changing attitudes towards politics, religion and empire, and other changes in society. A 30% discount is available using the code NEW30 at the checkout. More information at

Commemorating British Labour History: Foundations & Future Plans
The Marx Memorial Library (at 90 years) will be co-hosting an online symposium, in collaboration with the Modern Records Centre (50 years) and South Wales Miners' Library (50 years), with talks celebrating the collections held by all three organisations and their contributions to the history of labour in the UK. The event will take place on Thursday, 6 July at 7pm. More information and details on how to register at

Centenary of Lukács’s History and Class Consciousness
György Lukács’s History and Class Consciousness, the book that won him both supporters and enemies, was published 100 years ago. To mark this, a collection of German and Russian reviews of – and essays about – the book (and the 1924 Lenin booklet) from the 1920s has been published on the Lukács Archive International Foundation website:

Interview with David Harvey
For 50 years David Harvey has written/lectured on Capital, becoming one of the world’s foremost Marx scholars, and his work on the history and geography of capitalist development has trans-formed our understanding of neoliberalism. In a long interview (at with Verso’s Sebastian Budgen, Harvey recalls the formation of his Marxist ideas and intellectual influences. He also talks about the growth of the populist right. A shorter video covers his work on the Grundrisse:

Manchester Suffragette Banner
The 1908 Manchester Suffragette banner marks the founding of the Women’s Social & Political Union in Manchester in 1903. It will go back on display at the People’s History Museum from Weds 21 June until January 2024. On Thurs 6 July, the Museum is holding an evening of conversation, tours and creativity to celebrate the banner, featuring a panel of speakers, including Helen Pankhurst, granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst; Afghan judge and campaigner Marzia Babakarkhail; and curator and historian Helen Antrobus, author of First in the Fight: 20 Women who Made Manchester. More information and tickets from