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The Mills Archive was established in 2002 as a permanent repository for historical and contemporary material on traditional mills and milling, and to make that material available for public inspection and use in research and learning. It is managed by the Mills Archive Trust (Registered Charity No.1091534), and has rescued over a million documents and images that might otherwise have ended up in a landfill site.
The archive was originally set up to care for four historically important Foundation Collections. The private collections of M. M. Cookson, J. K. Major and A. Stoyel are three of the largest collections of material on traditional mills and milling in the UK, and represent between them more than 130 years researching and working with mills. The fourth collection consists of material deposited over the years with the SPAB Mills Section by various mill researchers and enthusiasts; as the Section does not have the space or the expertise to develop these collections it has agreed to pass them to the Mills Archive to better care for them. In addition to these, the archive has been given more than 70 other collections of varying size. These show the rich and diverse crafts, buildings, machinery, equipment and people involved with mills in the UK and around the world.
All of the material held by the Mills Archive may be consulted free of charge at our Library and Research Centre at Watlington House in Reading.
Address: The Mills Archive Trust, Watlington House, 44 Watlington Street, Reading