Table of Contents
Sheffield Women's Printing Co-op (SWPC) started life in the late 1970s using a tabletop Roneo offset duplicator on which they taught themselves to print. They registered as a co-op in 1980, sharing space with Commonground Community Printshop, an open access community resource printshop. In 1984 they got a bank loan, an A3 Rotaprint press in addition to their 1250 Multilith and moved to their own premises in Matilda Street. They provided typsetting, artwork and print for a wide range of womens, community, activist, arts and voluntary sector groups in Sheffield. Some of the workers were also actively involved and founder members of Sheffield Womens Aid, as well as participants in other local and national campaigns. Fi Frances, a graphic designer and cartoonist who worked there set up Wildcat Cards, a feminist card company (see link below). SWPC were committed to collective working principles and decision making was achieved through consensus rather than majority vote. They also maintained an equal pay structure throughout. SWPC never received any grants, generating its income through its own labour. The co-op continued until the early 2000s. In its last days it no longer offered printing but had moved into print buying and providing design. It was the longest surviving co-operative in Sheffield.
The archives of the co-op are held in the Sheffield Archives: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries/archives-and-local-studies.html
Obituary of Jos Kingston, one of the founder members: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2007/jun/14/obituaries.mainsection
Wildcat Cards archive: http://archiveshub.ac.uk/features/08052301.html