An artificially created collection (see under source of acquisition) which presumably came from one or more firms of solicitors. The solicitor believed to have owned the bulk of these documents was Edward Wooler of the firm Wooler and Wooler whose offices were at 36, Priestgate, Darlington. The extent of his connection with the collection is, however, unclear. Some of the material certainly belonged to him, but subsequently passed into the possession of a second hand book dealer called John Cresswell Brigham, and it may not now be possible to determine how much of the collection was made by Wooler and how much by Brigham.
Edward Wooler was already in practice in 1879 and continued for at least another forty six years until some time between 1925 and 1934, probably about 1927. In the early decades of this century he was a Councillor on Darlington Borough Council, being Chairman of the School Board and, later, Alderman. He was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and wrote at least two works: Historic Darlington, a text book for school children written in conjunction with a colleague, and The Roman Fort at Piercebridge. His connection with this collection is established by a small packet of documents relating to the history of the Bull Inn.
There are pencil notes on many of the deeds. Most of them only indicate place, but some go further and contain comments such as: contains a fine list of Autographs etc. of Darlington tradespeople and, on the Probate of the Will of Robert Colling of Barmpton the noted shorthorn breeder. These notes show that the documents have been in the hands of a local historian or a dealer, but whether they were made by Wooler or Brigham is debateable. We cannot know for certain whether John Cresswell Brigham purchased this collection, at the sale at Edward Wooler's house in October 1927, or only the packet relating to the Bull Inn.
John Cresswell Brigham was also well known as an antiquarian. As well as his shop at 26, Conniscliffe Road he had a private museum and on his death in 1935 or 1936 the John Cresswell Brigham Collection was bought by Darlington Public Library. By this time it seems to have consisted mainly of volumes, both printed and in manuscript, divided into three groups relating to Darlington, Durham and Yorkshire respectively. It does not appear to have included deeds.
The business at Conniscliffe road was transferred to R.J. Scott and was still trading under that name in 1973. No correspondence has been found in the surviving University Library administrative files for any purchase or donation of this material from Edward Wooler, John Cresswell Brigham or R.J. Scott.