The Livesey Collection is named in honour of Joseph Livesey of Preston, one of the early teetotal pioneers. In 1987, the Livesey Collection transferred to the University of Central Lancashire from the British National Temperance League in Sheffield. Since then it has been enriched by donations from temperance groups and individuals.
The Livesey collection is held in Preston, home of the Temperance movement of the 19th Century. The temperance materials form a major part of the archival collections of the institution whose parent establishment Joseph Livesey helped to set up in order to educate and improve the lot of the working classes. The collection now forms an internationally significant resource for the study of this subject that is as relevant to contemporary study as it is to the understanding of the culture of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The collection is made up of a significant number of journals, monographs, bound collections of pamphlets and other non-textual items. These include lantern slides, posters, banners, textiles, crockery and ephemera. The collection represents temperance societies and culture from the 19th century onwards, from Band of Hope groups to the Rechabite Friendly Societies. Also included in the collection are works relating to non-conformist religious groups in the Preston area.