CS Project - Background

About the Cooperative Society Collection

In 2009, the South West Image Bank were entrusted with the task of preserving and making accessible a collection of photographs which had been lovingly accumulated by the Cooperative Society.

Victor Barton, Chairman of the History Club and Barbara Dyer, PA to then Chief Executive of the Cooperative and a continuing Director of the Plymouth Barbican Association (Douglas Fletcher), were our main points of contact for the project to catalogue and digitise the collection.

CS Project - About the Cooperative Society

About the Cooperative Society Project

In June/July of 2009, Stacey Dyer, SWiB Archivist presented a slideshow talk to members of the history club. Around half of the collection had been fully processed by that point. Victor spoke to Stacey about the possibility of SWiB making use of the collection for the Cooperative Anniversary Congress, scheduled for June 2010.

In attendence with Stacey at the talk was Lucy Hill, a Falmouth University photography student who was at the time undertaking a two week long work placement with SWiB.

Given the fantastic work Lucy had done during her placement, Stacey asked whether she might consider spear-heading the exhibition project for SWiB which could also be used to enhance her own career and university portfolio.

About Lucy Hill (Assigned Project Coordinator)


Lucy is currently in her 3rd year of study at University College Falmouth undertaking the BA(hons) Photography course.
View Lucy's website here.

"Photograhy has become a major part of my life; I have found my passion and wish to pursue a career in it. I am curious to where photography may lead me in the future; my aim is to continue my own personal photographic projects whilst doing commissions and community based projects allowing me to work with and to teach others. My main area of interest is in the relationships between people and places and the visual character of space." (Lucy Hill)

Lucy first heard about SWiB through FOTONOW, a new photographic organisation in the South West set up to support the practice and development of photography for the region. She decided to spend a day working at SWiB and ended up writing about her experience in the first edition of Ensemble (photographic news journal).

View Lucy's feature here - ENSEMBLE.pdf

After having such an enjoyable day at SWiB, it had always been on Lucy's mind to return for a longer period of time to undertake a work placement, which is exactly what she did.

During the two week placement, Lucy experienced and contributed to all areas of archive administration including appraisal, preservation, collection management, cataloguing, scanning and the transfer of images to the archival database and website. She also undertook basic repackaging of the collections and helped deal with search requests and copy order enquiries. Lucy was given the recently acquired Cooperative Society Collection of photographs to work on which included research, scanning and cataloguing work.

Lucy also accompanied Stacey Dyer, the SWiB Archivist on two outreach visits; firstly she visited Stoke Damerel College to help advise on a photographic project they were undertaking at the time, the second visit was to the Cooperative Society History Club whereby Stacey delivered a talk to the group.

It was after the talk that members approached Stacey to ask whether SWiB might produce a photographic exhibition from the collection for the Cooperative Anniversary Congress scheduled for June 2010. Lucy had already done such fantastic work with the collection it made perfect sense to delegate this task to her.


1) To enhance public interest in SWiB and the work we do.
2) To demonstrate SWiB's commitment towards ongoing outreach objectives.
3) To help towards Lucy's own record of achievement and to help develop her chosen career in photography.

Further Links

CS Project - Details
CS Project - Feedback & Acknowledgements

See also:

CS - Cooperative Society Archive

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