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Modern Records Centre opens its doors

The Modern Records Centre is about to embark on a £1.2 million redevelopment that will double the access to 13kms of records to the general public. The greatly improved access for members of the public will open up a wealth of material relating to Midlands and national history to many more people.

Up to now use of the Centre’s collections has usually been confined to academic researchers. After the redevelopment the Centre will be able to mount exhibitions, workshops and seminars about the archives that will be open to members of the public, while new technology will help make access to the collections themselves much more open.

The Modern Records Centre is full of material of local interest just a sample of the centre’s catalogue shows the papers of Labour cabinet minister Richard Crossman Member of Parliament for East Coventry, the papers of Maurice Edelman MP a Coventry North West MP, documents from the National Union of Vehicle Builders (Coventry branch), A Coventry Women's Liberation Newsletter' from 1976, and even a 'Statement on the aircraft industry in the Coventry district in 1955 ' produced by Coventry Trade Union Council.

The MRC also contains archive papers from many great car makers such Austin, Morris, Rover and Triumph, as well as local employers and trade union branches. It also contains the papers of important national organisations such as the Howard League for Penal Reform, the TUC, UNISON and the CBI and there have been some exciting deposits recently including Brenda Dean’s papers relating to the Wapping dispute.

Rodney Bickerstaffe former General Secretary of UNISON commented in a recent visit to the Modern Records Centre that

The Centre contains world-leading records on British industrial relations unlike anywhere else in the UK It is an astonishingly rich and topical resource.

The redevelopment of the Centre won’t just expand its ability to accommodate people it will also increase its capacity to take in the many exciting new collections of material the centre continues to attract.