Literary History


Material on local writers and books may be found in some of the larger antiquarian collections, particularly those collected and compiled by James Crossley and John E. Bailey. There are, however, a number of individual works on dialect, and a few examples of local poetry and novels that are of outstanding importance.

In addition, the Library holds a large number of manuscripts, private library catalogues and papers concerning the book trade in the north west.

The list on the right does is not inclusive, but is intended simply to draw attention to the range of material that the Library holds, and to highlight individual works and collections that may be of interest. If you would like assistance with manuscript queries, please contact us.

Lancashire Dialect

John Higson, Glossary of the Lancashire dialect, 1856. (A.3.126)
Thomas Heywood, On the South Lancashire dialect, c.1860. (A.4.39)
Thomas T. Wilkinson, On the Lancashire Dialect Especially Relating to Blackburn Hundred. (A.4.117)
John Collier (alias Tim Bobbin). Collection of manuscript volumes, and correspondence relating to his publications. (E.3.6 no. 9) More Fruit From the Same Pannier: or Additional Remarks on the History of Manchester, 1773? (A.4.38); accounts of book subscriptions and sales, sketches (6 items) (A.4.40); sketch book (A.4.41). Transcripts of Tim Bobbin material also appear in volume IX of Raines’s Lancashire Manuscripts. Also Frederick Madden, Bibliography of Tim Bobbin. (A.4.39)


Mrs. G. Linneaus Banks, The Manchester Man, c.1875. (A.3.88)
W. Harrison Ainsworth, The Goldsmith’s Wife, c.1874. (A.4.18)
Robert Southey, 4 volumes of manuscripts including The Doctor, catalogue of Southey’s Library and Letters of Espriella. (A.4.1-4)


Poems and journals by John Byrom (1691-1763), including the original manuscript of Christians Awake. (A.2.8, A.2.167, A.3.73, A.4.122, A.7.63)
Thomas Wilson (1747-1843) of Clitheroe. Collection of poems. (A.4.21)
Elijah Ridings (1802-1872). Published and unpublished poems. (A.3.96)
Robert Rose (fl.1841-1850) of Manchester. Miscellaneous poems. (A.2.7)

Private Library catalogues

James Crossley of Manchester (1800-1883). (A.2.48-53)
John Greswell (d. 1810). (A.2.63)
W. Davis (fl. 1820). (A.3.78). Isaac Reed (1742-1807). (A.4.42)
Charles Lawson (1729-1807). (A.4.63)
Towneley family of Burnley and London, late C18th. (A.3.137)
Thomas Corser of Stand (1793-1876). (A.6.37)
John Webster of Clitheroe (1610-1682). (A.6.47)

Book Trade

Joseph Jordan, Bygone Manchester Booksellers, c.1883. (A.1.13)
William Ford (1771-1832), Manchester bookseller. Correspondence from book collectors to W. Ford and catalogues of prints and pictures. (A.4.27, A.6.78-9)
Autobiography and daybook of James Weatherley, Manchester bookseller, (1794-1860). (A.6.30)
J. B. Rondeau of Salford, collection of notes catalogued by Rondeau on Lancashire books and books printed in Liverpool. (E.5.12)