The Robert Owen correspondence collection UNESCO

“…society may be formed so as to exist without crime, without poverty, with health greatly improved, with little if any misery, and with intelligence and happiness improved a hundredfold…”

Robert Owen, ‘Address to the Inhabitants of New Lanark’, 1816

We hold a collection of 3000 letters as well as essays and materials used by Robert Owen during his lifetime (1771-1858) campaigning for social change and better working conditions for the industrial poor.

The collection was recognised by UNESCO in 2016 in the UK Memory of the World Register, as an internationally significant record of the fight for labour and social reform in the 19th Century. Two billion people worldwide regard Robert Owen as the 'Father' of the movement, who inspired other to put his ideas into practice.

Other organisations representing Owen

Robert Owen started his career as a Mill Manager in Manchester's first steam powered factory. His statue can be seen on the corner of Corporation and Balloon Street; close to Victoria Station.

New Lanark World Heritage Site

Visit New Lanark's website

New Lanark was a cotton textile mill complex and model community managed by Owen and his Wife's family, the Dales, close to Glasgow on the banks of the River Clyde. Today it is a visitor attraction and recognised by UNESCO as 'universally valuable' to a global audience. The site is run by the New Lanark Trust.

The Robert Owen Museum, Newtown

Stories and objects relating to the life of Owen are displayed in the town where he was born and is buried. An independent charitable trust looks after the museum, located in Newtown's Town Council Building.

Robert Owen Museum website