Over the last few years I’ve been stressing the importance of ensuring that key archives from the co-operative movement are identified and preserved. In particular I’ve mentioned several times the initiative some of us have been engaged in to focus on workers’ co-op records from the 1970s-1990s.
We’ve had several generous offers of financial support from current workers’ co-ops, from co-operative organisations and from individuals, but we needed the Heritage Lottery Fund to come in and support the project as well.
I’m delighted to say that HLF have indeed now agreed to contribute £43,000 towards the project – so green light to go!
To crib a little text from the press release which has just gone out: “The project, called Working Together: recording and preserving the heritage of the workers’ co-operative movement, aims to identify and make accessible for the first time records from some of the major workers’ co-operatives of the time, together with co-operative support organisations. A trained archivist will be employed for a twelve month period to undertake the work of finding the material, and then in ensuring that where possible it is deposited either at the National Co-operative Archive or in the relevant local county record office or public archive. An oral history element to the project will mean that recordings of the memories of some of those most involved in co-operatives during this period will be made.”
I hope you share my satisfaction that a little part of our history will now be more easily understood by co-operators of the future.