Political Song Collection [PSC]
Date (predominately c.1930 – c.2000)
Level of description Fonds
Extent and medium of the unit of description 96 archival boxes which includes textual documents, photographs, vinyl records, tapes, CDs and 158 MB of digital materials.
Archival history The Political Song Collection is a repository for materials concerning political song (formerly known as the Janey Buchan Political Song Collection). It was initiated by a deposit from Janey Buchan of material she had amassed throughout her life reflecting her avid interest in the confluence of politics and culture. In 2011 the Collection was deposited with the University of Glasgow on long-term loan. Since Janey’s death on 14 January 2012 the collection has continued to accrue new materials, which prompted the name change. These have been mainly small deposits from a variety of individuals involved in political song including the Ron Tendler Collection and a large deposit on behalf of John Jordan, the late President of the Workers’ Music Association in 2018 which forms the basis for the Workers’ Music Association Archive. Records from Janey Buchan Contextual Political Material concerning the Co-operative Society (formerly PSC/2/2) as well as the National Union of Public Employees and The Lanarkshire School Attendance Officers’ and Janitors’ Association (formerly PSC/2/3) have since been deposited with North Lanarkshire Archives who hold the majority of records for these organisations. PSC/2/2 and PSC/2/3 are now Unassigned.

PSC is currently located in the History of Art Resource Centre at the University of Glasgow.
Immediate source of acquisition Various.
Scope and content The collection includes a diverse range of material which ranges from song sheets to vinyl records to political journals and pamphlets to minutes and business papers. There are over 12,000 items in the collection, of which over 1000 are song sheets and over 350 are vinyl records and CDs. There is also an extensive collection of song journals and publications on political song including a near complete run of Sing volumes 1 to 10. In addition, there is a large collection of material relating to the Workers’ Music Association. Besides song material, the collection also contains a significant amount of political material in the form of journals, pamphlets and other publications which are not directly related to song or political culture. The vast majority of material in the collection, both related and unrelated to song, originates from left-wing movements and organisations.
Accruals Further accruals are expected.
System of arrangement Organised into 4 sub-fonds:

 • Janey Buchan Political Song Collection (PSC/1)
 • Janey Buchan Contextual Political Material (PSC/2)
 • Workers’ Music Association Archive (PSC/3)
 • Political Song Special Collections (PSC/4)

Janey Buchan Political Song Collection contains material related to both song and political culture, Janey Buchan Contextual Political Material contains material not directly related to song but useful for providing information on the movements, campaigns, politics and individuals behind the songs. Workers’ Music Association Archive was initiated by a large deposit of material in 2018 on behalf of John Jordan and Political Song Special Collections contains political song materials from a variety of individuals.
Conditions governing access Unrestricted access however the use of audio material may be restricted until reproductions can be made.
Language Predominately English but some material in Russian, Czech, Spanish, Polish and others.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements Most vinyl records are 33⅓rpm but some are 45rpm. Many of the older documents are fragile and require careful handling.

Within this collection…

Reference Title Dates
Janey Buchan Political Song Collection
Janey Buchan Contextual Political Material
Workers’ Music Association Archive
Political Song Special Collections

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