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British Coal Mining Strikes, 1893-1940 (Study Number 3899)

Dateline 08 February 2000 -- New History Data Service Data Collection today announced the availability of this study

This data collection which is now available from the History Data Service was created by Roy Church, School of Economic and Social Studies, University of East Anglia and Quentin Outram, School of Business and Economic Studies, University of Leeds. The data were originally gathered to form an empirical backdrop to theoretical work on wage bargaining and strike activity undertaken as doctoral research by Outram. The wealth of data encouraged
Outram and Church to undertake a further project directly concerned to explain the causes of strike activity in the industry before the Second World War, the regional and inter-colliery in strike propensity, and the
relation between strikes and social solidarity. The data collection was extended and partially re-coded for these purposes.

The data collection is unique in that it allows the construction of strike histories for individual collieries over the 1912-1940 period and for individual 'places' for the entire 1893-1940 period. Nevertheless, the focus of the research was on cross-section rather than time series variation. The data have been exploited to provide a detailed description of the dimensions of strike activity and strike solidarity in the industry, to investigate the
relationship between colliery strike activity and the characteristics of colliery localities, to examine the connections between colliery size, strike activity and miners' strike solidarity, and to investigate the impact
of a number of other factors on strike histories, including technology, working conditions, patterns of mine ownership and management, union membership density, and the markets for coal and mine labour.

The data collection lists each strike officially recorded in the British coal mining industry by the Ministry of Labour and its predecessor bodies from 1893 to 1940, together with all the significant information gathered by
the Ministry. The data available for each strike varies over time but the 'core' data includes: location, date and duration, the number of firms involved, the number of mineworkers involved and their occupations, the
'cause' or 'object' of the strike, its result and the method of settlement.

From 1921 onwards the data include the name of the company and/or colliery affected. These data provided a link to published annual data on individual firms and collieries which have been exploited to add contextual data to
each strike record. These contextual data include the numbers employed at the struck colliery and at all the struck company's collieries. This allows the computation of a 'strike participation rate' for each strike, showing
the proportion of the colliery or company mine workforce which was involved in the strike.

The data on strikes are derived from the "Annual Reports on Strikes and Lockouts" published as Command Papers by the Board of Trade, monthly articles in the "Labour Gazette: the Journal of the Labour Department of the
Board of Trade", and manuscript "Record Books" of trade disputes, strikes and lock-outs held at the Public Record Office. The data on collieries and coal companies are derived from the "List of Mines" published annually as a
non-parliamentary publication by the Mines Department. The data are a coded and edited compilation of these source records. The data have been cleaned, rendered consistent where possible, classified and reclassified in the case of some variables, and linked together.

To order this data collection from the History Data Service:

1. Complete a Data Access Application form available at:

Please specify in Section B that you wish to order Study Number 3899 British Coal Mining Strikes, 1893-1940.

The form can be either completed on-line or downloaded and printed out as a Word file.

2. Print out and sign a Standard Undertaking Form available at:

3. Return all forms which have not been completed online to: History Data Service, Data Archive, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ

If you have any problems accessing these forms please email your postal address to  and request a paper copy of the Data Access Application form and the Standard Undertaking form.

A list of other recent acquisitions and releases can be found on our webpages at:

For Further Information Contact:
Cressida Chappell, History Data Service, Data Archive, University of Essex,
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ, Phone +44 (0)1206 873984, Fax +44
(0)1206 872003, email ,

Disclaimer : This information is reproduced by FACHRS, with permission, for the interest of members. This publication should not be taken as representing the views of FACHRS.