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Women's Co-operative Guild

Women's Co-operative GuildADMINISTRATIVE/BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY: The Co-operative Women's Guild was formed in 1883 following the first inclusion of a women's page in Co-operative News. Its aim was to spread the knowledge of the benefits of co-operation and improve the conditions of women with the slogan "co-operation in poor neighbourhoods"; changed its name to the Women's Co-operative Guild, 1885; Margaret Llewelyn Davies becomes General Secretary and Lilian Harris appointed Cashier to the Guild, 1889; under their direction the organisation expanded rapidly from 51 branches and a membership of 1700 in 1889 to a peak of 1500 branches and a membership of 72000 in 1933. By this time the name of the organisation had again been changed to the Co-operative Women's Guild.


  • Annual reports of the Women's Co-operative Guild (incomplete), 1889-1988
  • Minutes of the National Executive Committee of the Women's Co-operative Guild, with minutes of Joint meetings with Sectional Secretaries and of Sectional Secretary meetings, 1969-1979
  • Circulars, programmes and resolutions from Annual Congresses of the Women's Co-operative Guild, along with texts of presidential addresses and other Congress-related ephemera, 1904-1989
  • Miscellaneous Women's Co-operative Guild papers, including circulars from Margaret Llewelyn-Davies and others, papers relating to Guild properties, Llewelyn Davies' publications on maternal welfare and the Committee of Inquiry into Domestic Service, along with material regarding A.Honora Enfield, Victoria House Printing Company Limited and the Guild's `People Who Care' campaign, 1910-1988
  • Minute books, financial accounts, correspondence, petty cash, bank and postage books regarding the Women's Co-operative Guild's Mrs Ben Jones Convalescent Fund, 1908-1984
  • Typescript papers, `Hints for Speakers', produced centrally by the Women's Co-operative Guild for external Guild speakers on a variety of social, political and economic topics, 1910-1955
  • Papers, ephemera and correspondence regarding the Women's Co-operative Guild's centenary and related celebratory events, including organisational correspondence of General Secretary, Kathleen Kempton, papers regarding the Centenary Congress at Worthing, proposed pageant and other national and local events, 1980-1983
  • Minute books, member's attendance and contributions and financial records compiled by 117 branches of the Women's Co-operative Guild, primarily in the London, Surrey and Kent area, along with various national branches, 1892-1988
  • Miscellaneous items regarding the Women's Co-operative Guild, including certificates, copper printing blocks and framed photograph, 1909-1934

EXTENT: 110 boxes, 13 posters & 1 framed photograph