Library resources

6. Photographs and illustrations

The Local Heritage Library has a vast collection of photographs, over 50,000.

These offer a unique visual insight into the changing social and industrial history of the area. They date from the mid-1800s to the present day. We also have a small collection of illustrations relating to Stockport, some of these are much earlier.

There are pictures of streets, buildings, schools, events and people and many have been donated by the public. Some families have bequeathed whole albums and collections of photographs which now provide a rich source of information.

Stockport Photographic Society's archive is one of the larger sources in the collection. They've been active since the end of the nineteenth century and have recorded many aspects of Stockport and its society.

Two of the most interesting sets of photographs for social history are from the Children's’ Fancy Dress Ball in 1908. Each child's costume represented their name and character. As a complete contrast, the photographs of children in Stockport Ragged School were taken in the 1860's.

The majority of the photographs and some of the illustrations are now available to view on Stockport Image Archive website. Many are available to purchase as reproduction prints. You can either do this by visiting the library or printing and posting the order form from the site.

New copyright laws mean that the public can only obtain copies of the photographs if the Library holds the copyright. Restricted photographs are indicated by disclaimer links.

We're still collecting

Today the work of collecting photographic images continues. If you wish to donate photographs relating to Stockport places, people or events, bring them to the Local Heritage Library. They will be very much appreciated.