Centre for Worktown Studies

Welcome to the Centre for Worktown Studies

Welcome to the Centre for Worktown Studies

The Centre for Worktown Studies promotes and supports academic research and public engagement activities around Bolton’s identity as Mass Observation’s ‘Worktown’. The Worktown project involved an in-depth study of everyday life in the Lancashire cotton town of Bolton between 1937 and 1940. The Worktown archive is an internationally renowned historical source of the social and cultural history of a northern British working class community.

The Centre has been designated a Good Practice Case Study of Higher Education Institute and Museum Collaboration by Renaissance North West. We are happy to meet and work with other researchers interested in Mass Observation’s Worktown.


Worktown Studies wsml5

Subject area

worktown

Bolton Worktown

Welcome to Bolton

A Mass Observation team was established in Bolton in 1937 to produce a detailed written and photographic record of everyday life in Worktown.

The Spender Collection, which comprises approximately 800 images taken in Bolton (and Blackpool as the Mass Observation team travelled there to observe ‘Worktowners’ on holiday) remains in Bolton Museum` and is a social documentary photographic archive of national and international significance.

The Centre has been designated a Good Practice Case Study of HEI Museum collaboration by Renaissance North West. We are happy to meet and work with other researchers interested in Mass Observation’s Worktown.

News

Blog

Centre for Worktown Studies - View from Mere Hall

Save the date for the Festival of Worktown in Bolton

11 Dec 19

The Centre is preparing a Festival of Worktown in Bolton 14-29 March 2020. A series of events, workshops and exhibitions will showcase current research by staff of the university and students will be supporting a range of activities invo...

The Centre for Worktown Studies promotes and supports academic research and public engagement activities around the Humphrey Spender ‘Worktown’ collection of documentary photographs from the 1930s which record everyday life in Bolton.

Cotton Queens Community Arts Project

05 Dec 19

The University of Bolton, Blackburn College and Bolton at Home are working in partnership on a community arts project to explore the influence of creative engagement with the Mass Observation Worktown Collection on the subjective well-be...

Meet the team

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Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
tef silver
qqa
iipLogo