The Archive holds a number of collections of periodicals, dating back to the early nineteenth century.

Early Journals

The Archive holds a number of periodicals from the early-nineteenth century which demonstrate early ideas about co-operation and social reform. These include The Brighton Co-operator, which was edited by Dr William King, an early advocate of co-operation, as well as The Crisis, which was produced by Robert Owen. The collection also holds copies of The Reasoner, in which George Jacob Holyoake was involved.

CWS Annuals

The CWS Annuals, published from the 1880s to 1960, gave information on the work of the Co-operative Wholesale Society and the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society. They contain trade figures and statistics as well as information on various factories and reports on the work of co-operative trade internationally. These Annuals are useful for research into trade figures, production and statistics of the CWS and SCWS and the early volumes include line drawings of the factories and other premises. They also included essays on trade and society outside the co-operative movement, by some of the foremost thinkers of the day.

Co-operators’ Yearbooks

These yearbooks were published from 1900 to 1960 and include information on productive co-operative societies.

Society Journals

The Archive holds periodicals relating to specific co-operative societies that were produced for members and employees. These include The Manchester and Salford Equitable Society Monthly Herald (1896-1908, 1910-1913, 1917, 1919-November 1960), The Bolton Co-operative Record (1889-1929), the Failsworth Industrial Co-operative Society Messenger (1891-1954) and The Eccles Co-operative Record (1911-1947). We also hold some issues of Comradeship and Together, the magazines for the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society. Some societies also had local pages in The Wheatsheaf, see below. Society journals are a useful tool for research into activities of co-operative societies, shop premises and family history.

Woman’s Outlook

Woman’s Outlook, which ran from 1919-1967, was the magazine of the Co-operative Women’s Guild. It focused on issues that were relevant to women such as gaining the vote, employment and maternity. It also highlighted the lives of women involved in political struggle. The magazine also contains knitting patterns, short stories, household hints and recipes.

Home Magazine

Co-operative Home Magazine, later called Home Magazine, ran from 1953 to 1964 and changed its name to Good Shopping, which ran for a further two years. It contained household hints and information on co-operative products. Home is a useful magazine for research into product advertising and packaging.

The Producer

The Producer, which ran from 1916-1966, was a magazine for employees of co-operative societies. Its focus was on co-operative trade and products, with news from co-operative societies in the UK as well as internationally. There was also news on employees as well as features on window dressing and product display. The Producer is useful for news stories of co-operative societies, including productive co-operatives, as well as the international co-operative movement, and overseas trade. It also has articles on prominent individuals within the movement.

Co-operative Official

The Co-operative Official was produced for managers and senior employees of the co-operative movement from 1919 to 1968, covering management information and news of senior personnel changes.

The Millgate Monthly

This periodical was named the Millgate Monthly from 1905-1928, when it changed its name to The Millgate. It ran until 1953. Sub-titled ‘A Magazine of Progress’, The Millgate Monthly contains poetry, commentary and art and social issues and reviews. It contains articles written by co-operators on various subjects, as well as articles on horticulture and foreign lands and short stories.

The Wheatsheaf

Published between 1896 and 1964, The Wheatsheaf was a monthly publication for members of co-operative societies. It was published by the Co-operative Wholesale Society and had a central section that was national, while the outside pages were published for individual consumer co-operatives and contained local news. It contained short stories, household hints and reports of events within the co-operative movement. There were also pages specifically aimed at women and children.


The subject of education has always been of great importance within the co-operative movement. The Archive holds journals of the Co-operative College, Spectrum and The Stokehole, as well as the Co-operative Educator from 1917 to 1939.

The Co-operator

The Co-operator, published by Henry Pitman from 1860 to 1871, forms the start of a complete run of co-operative journals, which continued with the Co-operative News. During the late 1860s, Pitman’s interest in the anti-vaccination movement led to the change of name to the Co-operator and Anti-Vaccinator and eventually to a change in focus away from the co-operative movement.

Co-operative News

The Archive holds a complete set of The Co-operative News from the first issue in 1871 to the present day, with a new bound volume given to the Archive each year. The newspaper marks the beginning of the co-operative movement’s publishing work. It reports on events within the co-operative movement from stories on local co-operative societies to international events. For many years during the twentieth century, it was produced in six regional editions.

Scottish Co-operator

The Scottish Co-operator was the weekly newspaper of the co-operative movement in Scotland. The Archive holds the Scottish Co-operator from Vol II in 1894 to August 1974 and a full set from its change to being the Co-operative News Scottish Edition in 1974 to March 1980.

Our Circle

Our Circle, which ran from 1907 to 1960, was a magazine aimed at young children and teenagers. It contained informative articles, for example on the lives of prominent co-operators as well as short stories and puzzles. It included lessons in Esperanto, a universal language that was popular within the co-operative movement. The Archive also holds some copies of The Sunshine Annual, which was aimed at younger children.