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Bolton and District Operative Cotton Spinners' Provincial Association Archive

Date range: 1857-1975.

The Bolton and District Operative Cotton Spinners' Provincial Association was formed in March 1880 by the amalgamation of two Bolton cotton-workers' organizations: the Hand-Mule Spinners' Association and the Self-Actor Minders' Association.

The Association acted as a trade union, providing sickness benefit, unemployment benefit and strike-pay for its members, representing its members in wage negotiations and trade disputes, and participating in wider political activities.

The collection comprises minute books, account books, cash and contribution books, benefit books, accident registers and other records of the main Bolton branch and of branches in ten other Lancashire towns: Atherton, Chorley, Farnworth, Hindley, Leigh, Manchester, Pendlebury, Reddish, Tyldesley and Wigan.

In some instances the records of the local branches incorporate those of earlier workers' associations which were absorbed or superseded by the Bolton Association.

There are also annual reports, other printed material, and excellent correspondence files relating to the textile employers, who were organizing themselves into their own associations by the 1870s.

The archive is an important source for the history of the trade union movement in Britain, and of the rise and fall of the Lancashire cotton industry.

See also the archive of the Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners.

Finding aids

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library