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Subjects & Service Areas



The Local Studies Library attempts to maintain a comprehensive collection of books specifically about the towns of Tameside, but it is also a research collection for relevant aspects of social and economic history such as textiles, transport, labour history, women's history, and Lancashire dialect. Works relating to Lancashire, Cheshire and the North West in general are also held. The library also takes a wide range of journals. For further information on printed sources relating to Tameside, see the Tameside Bibliography Link to Adobe PDF file. The catalogue record of books can be consulted here but please note that the bulk of the book collection is not included, please contact us if you are looking for a specific book which does not appear.


The local newspapers from 1855 to date, the Manchester Guardian from 1821 to 1864, and the Cotton Factory Times from 1885 to 1937 are available on microfilm.

Census Records

Enumerators' Returns for all the districts now in Tameside for 1891, 1901 and 1911 are available on microfilm. There is a street index for all the census returns and surname indexes for some areas are also available. The 1881 census surname index for all English counties is also available on microfiche. Visit the family history page for more details.

Parish Registers

Registers for many of the local churches, including some Nonconformist chapels, are available on microfilm. The International Genealogical Index for Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire is available on microfiche. Visit the Church Records page for a full list of Tameside parish records held at Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre.


The map collection includes small-scale county maps from 1577, as well as a wide range of Ordnance Survey maps and plans from 1843 to date. Scales range from 1" to 60". Copies of tithe maps for most of the Cheshire townships of the Tameside area are also held.


There is a large collection of photographs, old and new, of the area and its people, and a small collection of engravings, posters and broadsheets. Digital copies of many old photographs can be purchased. A large part of the collection is digitised and is available for viewing and purchase on the internet. 


The library holds a wide range of records which document the history of Tameside. The surviving local authority records of the nine towns make up a large part of the holdings. However, many local organisations - including churches, hospitals, schools, Mechanics Institutes, trade unions, and Turnpike Trusts - have deposited records with the library, as well as the Manchester Regiment. In addition, many individuals have donated personal papers, and local history societies and local businesses have deposited their archives. You can search the online catalogue here.

Oral History

The collection includes about 100 interviews with elderly residents of Tameside, recalling life in the area during the early 20th century, including over 150  recordings with people who came to Tameside from the Indian sub-continent. The library also holds recordings recorded by the former Manchester Studies Unit during the period 1974-1984, which explore themes such as domestic service, the cotton industry, and the Spanish Civil War. The Manchester Studies Collection is in the process of being digitised. Also included is commercially-produced music by local artists. . Visit the sound recordings page for more details.

Online Sources and Find My Past are available for consultation on computers in the Local Studies & Archives Centre along with free local history and family history websites. Please telephone 0161 342 4242 to book a session. See the online sources available through the website including the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Photocopying facilities are available.

Owing to very heavy demand, you are urged to book a computer or microfilm reader in advance of your visit for any of the above sources which might require its use. Please use the contact details below.

The library is continually adding to its collections and is anxious to obtain any local material. If you have any photographs, postcards, records of local organisations, or any items of local interest, you are invited to deposit them with the Local Studies Library. If you do not wish to donate pictures, etc., arrangements can be made to produce copies for the library.

Important: Please include your name and postal address when you send us a message as this will help us provide a full response to your enquiry.

April 21

Contact information

Send us a message
0161 342 4242
Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre
Cotton Street East
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