Many papers relating to the Public Health Laboratory were accumulated by Hugh Bethune Maitland for a history of the Public Health Laboratory in Manchester, and were transferred to Dr Stirland when Maitland moved abroad in the 1960s. Stirland produced a number of volumes of typescript copies and photocopies of these papers and from various other sources, including the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Manchester, and Manchester Royal Infirmary pathology and bacteriology services. This collection comprises largely of these copies, but also includes original archive and printed material: Delépine's reports, some original material of Stirland's relating to the Department of Bacteriology, family papers of Delépine, and a bound volume relating to Venereal Diseases regulations at Manchester Royal Infirmary.
The Stirland Public Health Collection contains a wealth of information about the Manchester Public Health Laboratory under the directorship of Delépine. This information gives an insight into the development of bacteriological services in a large city, and the relationships between universities, hospitals and local authorities in providing public health services. Material in the collection is primarily administrative rather than scientific, but can still illustrate the changing nature of laboratory work during this seminal period. There are papers relating in particular to the physical nature and financial arrangements of the Public Health Laboratory. There are also papers relating to the Venereal Diseases Regulations of 1916 and relating to surveys of laboratories in the 1940s; these papers were created within the Manchester Royal Infirmary, but demonstrate scientific and administrative interaction between the hospitals, the Public Health Laboratory and local and central government. This Collection also includes family papers of Professor Delépine, which provide information and evidence about his immigration to England and later naturalisation. For the period after the death of Delépine in 1921, the Stirland Public Health Collection has less consistent coverage. Most later material comprises typescript and photocopies created by Stirland, from archives of the University Department of Bacteriology and Manchester Royal Infirmary, although there are original documents relating to the physical property of the Department of Pathology at MRI. The copied material tends to be eclectic in nature, comprising extracts from minutes and reports of various committees, and influenced by Stirland's aim to write a history of public health laboratory services in Manchester, and his personal views on staffing and infection control. The copied material includes interesting information about the administration of public health (staffing and finances), developments in bacteriological techniques, outbreaks of disease.