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Archive Collections

Archives are unique, original documents created in the course of everyday activities.

Oldham’s archives date from 1597 and cover an enormous range of subjects and activities:

  • Hospital records
  • Poor Law Union records
  • Coroners Court records
  • Local Authority records including Chadderton, Crompton, Failsworth, Lees, Oldham, Royton and Saddleworth
  • Schools and education records
  • Records for statutory bodies like the police force
  • Church and religious records
  • Business records
  • Solicitors and estate agents records
  • Trade unions and associations records
  • Co-operative Society records
  • Sports, entertainment and leisure records
  • Personal, family and property records
  • Society and Association records
  • Records of Oldham communities

Donate your Archives

Oldham Local Studies and Archives is always on the look out for new archives to add to the collections.

Records that might seem unimportant to you now could be of immense value to researchers in the future.

Have you ever kept a diary, run your own business, or acted as secretary for a local society? You could have Oldham’s future history hidden away in your home or office.

If you think that you might have something in which we would be interested, please get in touch. We will be happy to find out more. Our contact details are on the Oldham Local Studies and Archives page.

Please note that, while we wait for the completion of our new building at Spindles, we are not currently accepting donations.


Catalogues listing what we hold can be found on the following websites although none of these sites offers a comprehensive list.

Some of our catalogues are only available in paper format so if you cannot find what you are looking for email archives@oldham.gov.uk.

Oldham Council Heritage Collections

As well as a selection of archive catalogues it includes catalogues for local studies, social history, natural history, art and fine art collections held in Oldham.

GM Lives

a searchable website which allows users to find information about documents, books, maps, photographs and more held by archives and local history libraries within Greater Manchester.

The National Archives Discovery

The National Archives Discovery database contains catalogue information that describes archives held nationally and locally in England and Wales. The database includes catalogue information about the archive collections held by Oldham Local Studies and Archives. Rename the web link to The National Archives Discovery.