Cotton Threads - About bookshelf image


Cotton Threads is an Archives 4 All project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund. The project has had a major impact on the way Bury Archives Service works in the joint facility at the Art Gallery, Museum + Archives in Bury. The project began in 2007, a year celebrating the bicentenary of the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Cotton Threads focused on the Hutchinson family of Bury in 1848, their cotton spinning business and its link to the slavery that still persisted in the USA.

This website is the final strand of a project that has introduced archives and the Hutchinson family to a wide audience in a variety of ways. A 14 week exhibition at Bury Art Gallery saw archives, paintings and museum objects being used in collaboration for the first time within the authority. Cotton Threads then went on tour to branch libraries.

Volunteers have helped to digitise Hutchinson family papers and transcribe records, supporting professional expertise. In addition, a full education programme has seen primary and secondary school visits and lunchtime talks. Lifelong learners have enjoyed a Victorian cookery course, delivered in conjunction with Bury Adult Learning Centre and with additional funding from Bury Libraries Age of Opportunities Lunch and Learn scheme. Selected education resources can be downloaded from this site.

The Hutchinson family collection can be examined in detail in our online archives catalogue, describing the full range of holdings at Bury Archives service. Catalogues have also been added to the National Archives A2A website.

Feedback on this website is welcomed as we always strive to improve. Please contact us at:

Bury Museum + Archives
Moss Street


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