Bolton Public Libraries have collected material relating to the local area ever since their foundation in 1853. The Archive and Local Studies Unit continues to do this in order to make such material available to the public for information, reference and research and also to preserve it for future generations.
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Apart from printed books, the collection contains pamphlets, articles in printed, typescript and manuscript forms, theses and dissertations, handbills, posters and ephemera. It relates to all parts of Bolton Metropolitan Borough, including Blackrod, Bolton, Farnworth, Horwich, Kearsley, Little Lever, Turton and Westhoughton and also to some adjacent areas, such as Ainsworth, Anglezarke, Belmont, Edgworth, Entwistle, Little Hulton and Rivington.
It is important to note that the collection includes a large amount of material which provides current local information, as well as works of a historical nature.
The whole of the collection has been catalogued (authors, subjects, titles) and is available through the Library Service’s catalogue which is available online via the main Bolton Council web site.
Works about Bolton and District
It is obviously not possible here to provide more than a brief indication of the range and extent of the collection, but the following list of some of the areas covered may be useful to readers:
Archaeology, Architecture and Buildings, Arts, Biography and Family History, Business, Canals, Census and Population Statistics, Churches, Cinema, Civil War, Cotton Mills, Crime, Coal Mining, Education and Schools, Electricity Supplies, Employment, Environment and Public Health, Ethnic Minorities, Gas Industry, Geography, Geology, Health Services, Hospitals, Industrial History and Development, Leisure, Libraries, Local Authority Publications and Reports, Local History, Markets, Music, Parks, Planning and Economic Development, Police, Politics, Public Utilities, Railways, Reservoirs, Religion, Roads, Shops and Shopping, Social History, Societies, Sport, Theatre, Trade Unions, Tramways, Transport, Water Supplies, World War I , World War II.
Lancashire County History Collection
The collection also contains material relating to Lancashire as a whole, such as the Victoria County History, various editions of Baines’s History of Lancashire and the publications of the following learned societies:
- Chetham Society
- Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire
- Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society
- Lancashire Parish Register Society
- Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire
Details of the Lancashire County History Collection can be found in the Local Studies Card Catalogue in the Search Room.
Local Authors’ Collection
Another part of this collection is the Local Authors’ Collection, which consists of several hundred works of fiction and non-fiction by writers with a close connection with the Bolton area. These include Allen Clarke, local historian, socialist and dialect author, writer and playwright Bill Naughton, travel writer and journalist Geoffrey Moorhouse and children’s author Arthur Catherall.
Lancashire Dialect Collection
In addition, the Lancashire Dialect Collection contains over 200 publications by many of the well-known dialect writers of poetry and prose as well as works about the Lancashire Dialect.
Works Published in Bolton and District
A representative sample of works published in Bolton and district is also included in the collection. Details about the collection can be found in the Local Studies Card Catalogue in the Search Room.