Barney Smith, who curates the Preston Digital Archive of more than 16,000 items on Flickr, has added to the collection of Preston trade directories that he has been putting on line on the Preston Past and Present Facebook group:
Two more Preston directories added today – 1851 & 1866 (see files section of the group) We now have searchable directories for 1851, 1860, 1866, 1869, 1882, 1904, 1913, 1926-7, 1948, 1952 & 1964-5 with more to come in the next few weeks.
Barney has performed an immensely valuable service by putting these directories on line. There is, for example, only a single copy of the 1866 Mannex in the Harris Library where, following reorganisation of what was the reference library, security has become virtually non-existent.
There are several other extremely valuable items that I think could be easily stolen from the former reference library without challenge.
The items may not be particularly valuable in cash terms, but for anybody interested in Preston’s history they are irreplaceable. I will not name them for fear of creating a ‘shopping list’ for collectors.