Identity Statement for Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers

  • Reference code: IE UCDA TU8
  • Title: Records of the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers
  • Dates: 1885-1970
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 4 boxes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Institutional History

This collection relates to the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers, Dublin No.2 Branch.

The Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners (ASC&J) was founded in London in 1860 as a result of a dispute with building employers over shorter working hours. The union grew in stability and numbers to the extent that by 1871 it had 10,000 members in England, Wales, Ireland, Canada and the USA, the north American membership being the result of emigration. There had been two local societies of woodworkers in Ireland, but no national organisation, before the ASC&J was formed. These were the Ancient Corporation of Carpenters in the City of Cork, and the Regular Carpenters of Dublin, the former joining the ASC&J in 1893 and the latter in 1891. 

The ASC&J had three further amalgamations in its history, the first with the Amalgamated Union of Cabinet Makers, a body especially strong in Dublin and Manchester, in 1918; the second with the General Union of Carpenters in 1921 to become the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers (ASW). In the discussions leading to this amalgamation, Dublin and Belfast were the only two large cities to vote against the proposal. The final amalgamation took place in January 1971 when the ASW, the Amalgamated Society of Painters and Decorators and the Amalgamated Society of Building Trade Workers formed the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians. 

The change of title to the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers after the 1921 amalgamation reflected the change in the composition of union membership and the decline of craft work. During the Second World War women on wartime work were organised and, although not admitted to membership, were entitled to benefits. The ASW had six parliamentary candidates returned at the Westminster election in 1929.   

Archival History

This collection was deposited in UCD Archives by the Irish Labour History Society in January 1979.

Scope and Content

Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners (1885-1909): administration records, financial records, contribution and benefit books, membership cards.

Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers (1933-1970): administration records, annual meetings, political activities, financial records, contribution and benefit books. 

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in original format. Original material will be retrieved at 11am and 2pm only. 
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive catalogue
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