Stockport Library and Information Service has collected local history material since 1875 and local archives since 1970. The Local Heritage Library, based on the first floor of the Central Library, has a range of historical and current records relating to the Stockport Metropolitan Borough and surrounding areas. These include books, manuscripts, newspapers and periodicals, information files, a large collection of maps/plans and a collection of over 50,000 photographs. Access to a small but increasing range of these resources is being made available via the website (see above). Special collections include archives relating to Christy's Hatting and Stockport Sunday School. Anyone studying the history of Stockport or researching their family history is welcome to make use of the reference, information and study facilities. Materials in microform include local newspapers, church registers, census returns, electoral registers, GRO index of births, marriages and deaths and the International Genealogical Index.
There is a substantial quantity of diverse information about the cotton industry scattered across the collections. This ranges from chapters in standard histories of Stockport (Peter Arrowsmith, Stockport: a History, Owen Ashmore , The Industrial Archaeology of Stockport and Professor George Unwin, Samuel Oldknow and the Arkwrights: The Industrial Revolution at Stockport and Marple) to business records (eg. private account book of William Sykes, 1786-1809) and miscellaneous material such as the Bleachers' Associations resolutions, orders and memoranda 1837-41. There are numerous photographs of mills and operatives, newspaper cuttings, and maps and plans. Information on local cotton firms can be accessed by searching the Historical Directory of Stockport People, a database of trade directories available on the Council's website. Holdings include cotton mill records (eg Goyt Mill, Marple; Wellington Mill, Stockport) The latter, a seven storey brick structure built in 1830-31on Wellington Road South, became Ward's Hat Works in 1895 and today houses Stockport's Museum of Hatting.
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