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Worker Co-op Archive

Monday, March 7, 2016

SolidFund members discussed and voted in favour of a proposal to donate £500 to a fledgling project aimed at preserving records from the wave of British worker co-operatives and co-operative development in the 1970s-1990s.

The Workers’ Cooperative National Archive project aims to identify surviving records and encourage those who hold them to deposit them in recognised public archives where they will be available to co-operative historians and researchers. The project’s organisers are also planning to develop an online directory of the archives, identifying where archives can be consulted.

Andrew Bibby and John Goodman, both of whom worked in worker co-operatives in the 1970s and 1980s, are behind the project. They are also former co-operative development agency advisers.

Here are a few excerpts from the members' forum voting discussion on Loomio: "I think this is in line with the Fund's purpose of underwriting worker coop culture and organisation. Digitising key documents and publishing them online under an open coop license would be a next necessary step" "I'd like to register my request that as much as possible be digitised, especially stuff about the Federation of Northern Whole Food Collectives and any other Federations that included a regular pooling of a % of income/ revenue" "I'm one for pressing ahead, and looking for new coops to form, hence I abstain. I wouldn't block it, as I understand that learning from past experiences is important. Thank you. Cool process. It's the first time for me on loomio. Thanks!"

The project is being operated through the website www.workerscoopsarchive.wordpress.com