Manufacturing Pasts

Online Resource
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Scope and Content

Focusing on the Leicester area, this collection offers access to previously hidden sources of industrial history. Focusing on developments after the Second World War, material includes audio interviews with those living and working at the time, maps, architectural plans for industry in the area, newspaper cuttings and photographs of the area.

A selection of accounts, meeting minutes, employee handbooks, commerce yearbooks and population surveys are also included in the Books area of the collection.

Alongside country-wide changes across 20th century Britain after WWII, the City of Leicester grew and changed rapidly on a local scale. A rapid housing development plan was put into action, with many established areas being demolished and rebuilt to accommodate the increasing popularity of the private motor car.

Leicester's population demographic also saw big changes during the 1960s and 70s, when many Asian families settled in the area - particularly following the Asian community's mass expulsion from Uganda and surrounding parts of East Africa in the 1970s.

Access Information

Unless otherwise stated, content within this collection is licensed under Creative Commons.


This is a description of an Online Resource. Online Resources are websites that describe, interpret and provide access to archives. They often provide access to digital content but they may also describe physical materials. They usually cover a theme or topic, such as an individual, a movement, or an important historical event.

Other Finding Aids


A Jisc funded digitisation initiative. Publisher: University of Leicester

Additional Information

The collection has been carefully curated to provide numerous routes to the source material. It is split into four themes - Conservation & Urban Regeneration, De-Industrialisation, Factory & Community, Social Life of the Factory.

Sources are also split by type and a toolkit of written and video content demonstrates how to use the source material in teaching and research. A video demonstration of framework knitting is also freely available.

Teachers, researchers and enthusiasts working in the areas of industrial history, social history, local history, sociology, architecture and population change will all find this collection of use. All features sources are copyright-cleared, available to access and free to reuse.

As well as browsing the collection by theme or type, a full search service is offered and most sources are optimised for use on mobile formats.