The collection comprises the records of the Oldham Textile Employers' Association which include a complete run of letter books, agenda books and levy books; files collected by the Association relating to other organisations, such as the British Cotton Growing Association, and to working conditions; official government reports and a large amount of printed material concerning the cotton industry, both domestic and overseas; there is also a diverse collection of published material and large quantities of press cuttings and specialist newspapers.
The subject matter contained within the collection is varied, but the material relating to working conditions, relations between employers and employees and to the state of both domestic and overseas trade are the major strengths of the archive. Items of particular interest include investigations into industry-related diseases suffered by operatives, a record of complaints made by employees together with an analysis of their cases and a note of any settlement reached. The archive reflects the crisis in the Lancashire cotton industry in the late 1920s and 30s and contains a large amount of material relating to mill closures and associated material concerning rating assessments. There is also a considerable quantity of material arising from the reorganisation of the cotton industry and to redundancies in 1960. Later material collected by the association is mainly in the form of press cuttings relating to the decline of the cotton trade and the impact on Lancashire.
This archive is a valuable source for the study of labour history; economic and social history; employers' associations; trade unions; industrial history; textile history; industrial decline; and international trade. Family historians may find reference to relatives employed in the trade and the archive has immense research potential for local historians.
The collection contains a mixture of printed, typescript and manuscript material.