Christine Coates joined the Trades Union Congress Library in 1967 at the age of 18 and worked in the post until her retirement in 2014.
During those 47 years she worked non-stop on promoting and developing the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Library, which is housed with London Metropolitan University’s other special collections at our Aldgate campus. Christine is well known throughout the labour history world for her work and her name and face are synonymous with the Library.
Her initiative and drive helped develop the Library’s contents. She acquired a number of major collections and ensured the Library’s involvement in national profile-raising projects and collaborations.
Christine was also very successful in raising money to increase access to the Library Collections, raising over half-a-million pounds from thirty-four trusts in her time at London Metropolitan University alone. These funds supported projects to catalogue, conserve, and digitise the collection, and publish four websites, one of which won an award.
Christine dedicated 47 years of her professional and private life to the Library, spending much of her own time in the evenings and weekends attending meetings, conferences, seminars and marches – demonstrating an inexhaustible interest in the subject matter and commitment to the cause.
You can follow the latest developments at the TUC library on their blog.