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Samuel Hird Papers

Date range: 1890s-1950s

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Samuel Hird (1878-1956) rose from being a child worker in an Oldham mill to become the senior factory inspector for the Greater Manchester area. His papers provide a fascinating account of the work of the Factory Inspectorate, particularly in the textile industry, in the first half of the 20th century.

Hird’s papers document his professional life as a factory inspector, as well as his interests in wider political, religious and economic issues. The most significant component of the collection is Hird's unpublished autobiography, which provides a wealth of information about industrial Lancashire during the heyday of the cotton industry. This memoir is particularly important as non-official documents about the work of the Factory Inspectorate are rare.

There are also papers concerning industrial health, a topic in which Hird had a deep interest, and his work investigating firms trading with enemy countries during the First World War. In addition, Hird wrote widely on religious and political topics, as well as producing some fiction (including a fictional ‘autobiography’).

The Hird papers are an important source for social and economic history of Greater Manchester, but there is also relevant material for the medical humanities, historical geography, and the social sciences.

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Cataloguing in progress.

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