Booth Charities Salford project

500 years of Salford history at Chetham's Library

This September, we have added more new visual material to the catalogue, with full resolution images to see or download. We’ll come back here to update this page with a few new items on a regular basis, but to get the best out of the system please try some searches on the new catalogue itself.

We’ll be doing a series of blog posts about aspects of the project that catch our eye, and the first one out is little look at the people captured in photos of other things, which we’ve called Accidental Heroes.

Children stop their play to look at the camera in a corner of this shot from around 1900.

Please do have a look! If you read to the end, you’ll see we’re also appealing for you to comment or get in touch about aspects of the project that interest you, or if you have images you might want to share (you don’t have to give us the originals) about Salford and area life – or have you a story you’d like to tell? It doesn’t have to be a great adventure, reminiscences of daily life matter just as much. Let us know!

Turning to other project news, we’ve been adding magic lantern slides from the J.J. Phelps collection. Please carry on scrolling for the story of the Booth Charities and the current project.

Magic lantern slide photo of Eccles Band Bazaar

Eccles Band Bazaar – J.J. Phelps slide collection


Worsley Pageant, magic lantern slide photo by Coulthurst


Eccles Parish Church – J.J. Phelps slide collection

Salford, like its sister city Manchester in the person of Humphrey Chetham, also produced a major charity through money from the trade in fustian cloth.  The Booth Charities were established in the first quarter of the seventeenth century when Humphrey Booth the Elder (1580-1635) a rich fustian merchant of Manchester and Salford, granted lands worth £20 a year to trustees for the relief of the poor, old or disabled people in Salford.  Almost forty years later, after Humphrey Booth the Elder’s death, his grandson Humphrey Booth the Younger left lands in Salford to provide among other things that “in case there be any overplus then my Will and Mind is that it shall be distributed amongst the Poore of Salford, Att a Christmas as the Money’s left by my Grandfather is”. The Booth Charities have their own substantial archive at Chetham’s Library, and you can see the existing archival handlist of that collection here in pdf format.

Photo of miners in boats in the underground canals of the Worsley colliery

Miners in the underground canals of Worsley Colliery – Mullineux Coll.

We’re delighted that the Distributors of the Booth Charities have become our partners in a new major project and have given us a significant grant to further their educational aims in enabling us to digitise thousands of documents, photographs, art works and papers concerning Salford past and present, from medieval deeds representing the lands given by the Booths through to the huge collection of photos assembled by Frank and Elsie Mullineux in the 20th century.

We’ll be documenting the progress of this project on this page as it proceeds from 2018 onward.

Late 19th century portrait photo of a woman worker in clogs and working clothes

‘Mrs Walker’ : a rare portrait of a woman worker
in her clogs and harness – Mullineux Coll.