About the Archive

The National Co-operative Archive is home to an internationally recognised collection of materials related to the history of the co-operative movement. We are located in central Manchester and are open to all. Visitors to the Archive can be inspired and learn from our collections that cover a wide range of subjects including retail and commerce, women’s history, war, education, social history, film and photographs.

Our collections

The collections in the Archive are wide ranging and cover a variety of subjects. We hold personal correspondences of individuals who shaped the early co-operative movement and influenced other co‑operators. There are a range of business records produced by retail and wholesale co-ops across the country, including minute books and financial records.  Our photograph collections document the working lives of co-operative employees as well as showing how factories operated at different times.  Our magazines and journals contain advertising for a wide range of products and we hold a range of sample food packaging from the 1930s to the present day.

Visiting Us

The Archive is open Tuesday-Friday 10-4.30 by appointment. You can contact us in advance at [email protected] or call 0161 819 3034. We also welcome enquiries about all aspects of co-operative history. 

More information about our collections can be found on our website here.