The society began life in 1905 as the Cambridge University Fabian Society but restyled itself the Cambridge University Socialist Society on 9 June 1915. It existed to assist in attaining the socialist objective of ''complete political and industrial democracy... [and] supersession of the capitalist system''. On 11 March 1920 it was incorporated into the new Cambridge University Labour Club, within which it continued to function as a study circle. Volume SOC.47.1.3 is of a rather later date than the other five volumes and uses the name Socialist Club rather than Socialist Society. It is not apparent whether this represents a change of name or the creation of a new club. Rupert Chawner Brooke (King's College) was a member as an undergraduate.
The records that survive are all minute books with a few items such as publicity leaflets enclosed.
The records were transferred to the University Archives from the Manuscripts Department on 3 October 2007.
Items SOC.47.1.1-2 and 2.1-3 had been deposited by Cambridge University Labour Club with the Manuscripts Department on 8 July 1954 and had been given the classmark Ms.Add.7451-5. They had previously been in the possession of George Darling, MP.
Item SOC.47.1.3 had been deposited with the Archives Department on September 1999 by Philippa Bassett, Archivist, Birmingham University Library. It had been found among the books bequeathed to Birmingham University Library by Alan F. Stanway, a former student at Cambridge University. It was accessioned as 2000/016 and given the classmark Ms.Add.7455 B.