Our present collection includes about 14,000 prints and negatives, but very few of these date from before the year 1900 and the majority are more recent than 1950. To some extent, this deficiency is made good by the Bolton Museum collections, housed in the same building as the Archive and Local Studies Service, which include some fine early views of Bolton Town Centre.
In recent times, the collection has been extended considerably by donations and by the purchase of many prints from the Bolton Evening News. Over a number of years, large donations have also been received from Bolton Metropolitan Borough Planning Department and from the Documentary Photography Archive (formerly Manchester Studies Unit).
Collections held by Bolton Community Libraries
Some of the larger Community Libraries, notably Farnworth, Horwich, Harwood and Westhoughton, maintain photograph collections relating to their own neighbourhoods. A detailed card index to the collection is available in the Archive and Local Studies Search Room.
Browsable images online
Many of the Archives photographs are available to browse using the online collections search