Co-operative History Network

Image of the Rochdale Pioneers Museum

The UKSCS History Network aims to keep in touch all those with an interest in co-operative history.  This includes academics and researchers, private individuals and organisations.

The network aims to give members an opportunity to meet 2 or 3 times a year to share information on current developments in the field. In 2016, there have been meetings at the Pioneers Museum in Rochdale and at Co-operative Congress in Wakefield. The network issues occasional short digests of activities, research and projects provided by members. 

The network reflects a revival of interest in the history of co-operation with a number of publications by network members including:

  • All Our Own Work: the Co-operative Pioneers of Hebden Bridge and their Mill by Andrew Bibby
  • Gleaming Vision: A  Co-operative Life in South Wales 1890 to 1964 by William Hazell. 
  • A City of Light: Socialism, Chartism and Co-operation – Nottingham 1844 by Chris Richardson
  • Roses and Revolutionists the story of the Clousden Hill Free Communist and Co-operative Colony 1894 to 1902 by Nigel Todd.

Several network members are involved in the Workers Co-ops Archive Project that is collating materials documenting many worker’s co-operatives set up in the 1970s and 1980s, to ensure a record of their development is not lost. There is a continuing appeal for help in finding them to record and preserve their history.  If you have information, contact a member of the advisory team: Andrew Bibby, Stephen Yeo, John Goodman, Gillian Lonergan and Bob Cannell.

They are digitising resources and have displayed the results at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum.

To contact the network, email Richard Bickle:

Image of the National Co-operative Archive

Visit the National Co-operative Archive, located in Central Manchester. The Archive is home to a wide array of records relating to the history of the worldwide co-operative movement. The collections include rare books, periodicals, manuscripts, films, photographs and oral histories, and provide researchers with an unrivalled resource for the development of the co-operative movement, from the initial ideas of the eighteenth century to the present day.

Image of the Rochdale Pioneers Museum

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum is located at the birthplace of the modern co-operative movement in Toad Lane, Rochdale.

Visit in person and/or take the virtual tour