Archivists reveal history of shopping at public event

Paul Duhaney

Archivist and curators will delve into the archives to reveal more than 150 years of Britain’s shopping and retail history at a public event held by the University of Liverpool.

Researchers will look at a wide range of material including shop adverts, packaging, photographs and films featuring markets, emporiums and shopping at the Co-op.  The archives will be discussed at the event held at Lewis’s, one of Liverpool’s oldest department stores.

Pauline Rushton, Curator of Costume and Textiles at National Museums Liverpool, will introduce the Tinne Collection of clothes, worn by Emily Tinne, the wife of Dr Philip Tinne – a member of a wealthy family of sugar merchants and ship owners.  The collection consists of more than 700 items worn by Emily and her six children between 1910 and 1940.  Highlights of the exhibition are featured in the exhibition ‘A Sweet Life’ at Sudley House, Liverpool.

Archivist for the National Co-operative Archive, Adam Shaw will investigate the beginnings of the modern co-operative movement from 1844 to the present day.  Co-operatives date back to the 18th century when a group of people joined together in a democratically owned enterprise to serve their community with discounted food and other goods.  Adam will discuss the development of the Co-operative Wholesale Society and the emergence of the supermarket in the 1970s and 1980s.

Margaret Procter, Co-Director of the Centre for Archive Studies at the University, said: “The public event will be a fascinating look at our enthusiasm for shopping and how it has changed through times of great wealth, poverty and war.  Archive records and collections can show us the impact that trade and manufacturing had on social change, as well as how it has informed British identity over the past century.”

North West Film Archivist, Marion Hewitt, will also screen films which feature Stockport Market in 1910 and shopping at the Co-op.  The screening will include a view of the new Emporium in Blackpool in 1938 and the first self-service store in Burnley in the 1940s. 

Other speakers include Sophie Clapp on the retail history of Boots and Dr Laura Ugolini, from the University of Wolverhampton on buying and selling menswear. 
The event takes place at the second floor restaurant, Lewis’s, Renshaw Street on Thursday, 19 November at 4.45pm. 

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