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Oldham Local Studies and Archives

Oldham Local Studies and Archives holds the archives for the town of Oldham.

Oldham Local Studies and Archives is a unique resource that defines what Oldham is today. Our extensive collections of maps, photographs, books and archives record the history of the borough from village to cotton capital of the world.

Whether it’s exploring your family history or finding out how Oldham has changed with the development of new communities, Oldham Local Studies and Archives brings the stories of the past to life.

A temporary Local Studies service is now operating from Oldham Library, while we wait for our new home at Spindles to open. You will find us on the ground floor.

We are not able to accept new donations or provide access to our physical collections and can only offer a limited enquiry service.

Our temporary service will help you to find out more about the fascinating history of Oldham through:

  • Digital resources (Ancestry, Find My Past, British Newspaper Archive, National Libraries of Scotland OS Map collection, Historical Directories of England and Wales, etc)
  • Sources held on microfilm and microfiche (local newspapers, parish registers, census 1841-1891)
  • Schedules to Dunn’s Map
  • Reproduction Rights of Way maps
  • Trade directories
  • A small stock of published historical sources from the Local Studies collections
  • Oldham Library’s Local History book stock
  • Newspaper cuttings and Obituaries

Our opening hours from March 2024 will be:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10am-5pm;
Tuesday 10am-2pm; Saturday 10am-4pm.

If you are unable to visit in person, our standard research service costs £5.00. We will check one source, e.g. an inquest in a newspaper or a marriage entry where a date has been provided, or a ‘look-up’ in a trade directory. Two free print outs are included in the cost.

Our in-depth research service has been paused until our new home at Spindles opens. We cannot check original archive or local studies material while it is in storage unless a statutory requirement applies. If your request relates to information we might hold about yourself, please contact us directly using the details below. If your request falls under Freedom of Information or Environmental Information legislation, please contact the Information Management Team.


Oldham Local Studies and Archives,
Greaves Street,
OL1 1AL.
T: 0161 770 4654.
E-mail archives@oldham.gov.uk