Skip to main content

National Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers (formerly the Federated Society of Electrotypers, Stereotypers and Assistants of Great Britain and Ireland and the Federated Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers of Great Britain and Ireland) Archive

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10445


  • Creation: 1907-1967


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Administrative history

The National Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers (NSES) was originally established as the Federated Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers (FSES) in October 1893. It was a trade union representing workers employed in the electrotyping and stereotyping foundries of the printing trade, often based in large London newspaper houses but also in printing companies and ad-setting trade houses. For much of its existence the NSES was based at 80 Blackfriars Road, London.

The Federation was created from regional electrotyper and stereotyper branches with its focus on skilled personnel. During its early years the Federation operated in parallel to the Stereotypers' and Electrotypers' Assistants' Society, also established in 1893. The Assistants’ Society was dissolved in 1914. At this point the Federation altered its name to the Federated Society of Electrotypers, Stereotypers and Assistants to encourage former Society members to join with much success.

In late 1917 the Federation changed its name again to the National Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers with a new National Council of the NSES replacing the Executive Committee of the Federation. A Sub-Committee of the NSES was also established, reporting to the National Council. The success of the Federation was such that the National Society of Operative Printers and Assistants transferred its electrotyper and stereotyper members to the NSES in 1919.

The NSES was closely affiliated with the Printing and Kindred Trades Federation and the Trade Unions Council. Its membership increased steadily with 1,800 in 1915, 3,400 by the 1920s, 4,000 by 1948 reaching a peak of 5,000 in the 1960s. Changes in the printing industry reducing the need for skilled electrotypers and stereotypers led the NSES to consider joining with other unions in the printing trade and a merger with National Graphical Association (NGA) took place in October 1967.


.238 cubic metre(s) (15 boxes containing 48 volumes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged as follows:

MS Add.10445/1 - Governance records

MS Add.10445/1/1 - National Council of the National Society of Electrotypers and Sterotypers (and predecessors)

MS Add.10445/1/2 - National Council Sub-Committee meeting minutes

MS Add.10445/1/3 - Meeting attendance records

MS Add.10445/2 - Finance records

MS Add.10445/2/1 - Annual account books

MS Add.10445/2/2 - Branch subscription books

MS Add.10445/2/3 - Regional subscription registers

MS Add.10445/2/4 - Income and expenditure books

Related Materials

Records of the National Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers, London Branch, 1899-1967 held at the Modern Records Centre at Warwick University under the reference MSS.28/ES ( Contains minutes (including correspondence), 1899-1967; annual reports, 1915-58; committee reports, 1919-67; printed notices, 1901-56; national society reports, 1901-56 (incomplete).

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom