The Co-operative Union Collection consists of the minutes and reports of the Central Board, Education Committee and the regional sections. There are also records of the various committees such as the Parliamentary, Staff Social & Welfare and Foreign Enquiry committees. The collection includes materials relating to the annual Co-operative Congresses.
The Co-operative Union (initially known as the Co-operative Central Board and now known as Co-operativesUK) was established in 1870. The establishment followed a decision at the 1869 Co-operative Congress to establish a central body that would work on behalf of its member co-operative societies and mutuals in order to promote the activities of those members, offer group support and a forum for exchange of best practice.
The Co-operative Union Photograph Collection consists of images that belonged to the Information Department. The images were a photographic stock for use in various publications. These included the monthly Co-operative Review (1926- 1987) as well as one off publications.
The photographs therefore cover a wide range of subjects, through which one can identify co-operative activities and commemorative events, such as delegate visits.
The North Western Music Association (NWMA) was set up in 1951 to replace the North Western Co-operative Choral Association.
The NWMA was an auxiliary body of the North Western Sectional Educational Council of the Co-operative Union. The main objective of the Association was to stimulate, advise and assist the promotion of music among members of the National Co-operative Education Association. Those who could join the NWMA were co-operative groups who took part in any form of musical work, and co-operative societies who were members of the North Western Section of the National Co-operative Education Association.
The collection comprises minutes, annual reports, correspondence, income and expenditure accounts and an account book.
In 1955, a resolution was adopted by the Edinburgh Congress of the Co-operative Union that led to the establishment of the Independent Commission. The purpose of the Commission was to advise on the future of the co-operative movement in Britain. Suggestions were accepted from various co-operative organisations; this collection is the submission of the Co-operative Union and its various sections, along with press cuttings and photographs relating to the Commission that were collected by the Union.