Ephemera, illustrations, maps, posters and plans


The ephemera collection consists of a variety of materials on different subjects. Ephemera are items that were intended to be thrown away once they were finished with, such as:

  • advertising and publicity material
  • event programmes
  • newsletters
  • tickets
  • receipts
  • business correspondence
  • commemorative milk bottle tops

Ephemera can provide valuable insights into subjects not covered by archives or other reference materials. They can tell us about places or events and how they were seen or commemorated at a particular time. You can view detailed information about our ephemera on the Big Stockport Picture website.


The illustrations collection covers a wide range of:

  • local buildings
  • people
  • landscapes
  • events in a variety of forms, including:
    • prints
    • lithographs
    • engravings
    • sketches

The collection is especially useful for providing a visual representation of history before the invention of photography. You can view detailed information about our illustrations on the Big Stockport Picture website.


Our large and varied map collection illustrates the transformation of Stockport and the surrounding areas over hundreds of years. If you want to see what was on a particular site, or what an area looked like at a specific time, our collection may help. We hold the following types of maps:

  • Ordnance Survey (OS) maps, from the 1870s to the 1930s for Cheshire, Derbyshire, and Lancashire. The more modern OS maps range from the 1950s to the 1990s. These maps would be most helpful for researching the history of a building
  • Goad maps. These maps show retail properties and other buildings in a town centre location, usually high streets or shopping centres
  • 5ft Plans. These are more detailed maps of the central Stockport area, mainly from 1851 and 1895
  • tithe maps. Early to mid 19th century maps made to show land ownership
  • "apportionment books", a type of reference or index, that accompany maps where the owner's name is substituted with a field number
  • miscellaneous maps that do not fall into one of the above categories

You can view detailed information about our maps on the Big Stockport Picture website.


Our poster collection contains documents intended to be displayed and designed to bring something to the public’s attention. The poster collection has been collated by the Local Heritage Library over many years and items within it date from the 1820s to the present day. It includes:

  • playbills for local theatres and cinemas
  • local political campaign propaganda, including Chartist material
  • adverts for local events, businesses, and services
  • public information notices

You can view detailed information about our posters on the Big Stockport Picture website.


Our plans collection contains blueprints, drawings and designs for buildings and areas within Stockport. Plans can show the development of rivers and canals, railways, residential and shopping areas and industrial areas as well as individual buildings, such as Stockport Central Library. You can view detailed information about our plans on the Big Stockport Picture website.