Reweaving Manchester’s cotton connections

Welcome to Global Threads, a public history project that draws out new and previously under-represented stories related to Manchester’s cotton industry, particularly those linked to colonialism, enslavement and global movements of people and goods.

Framed cotton fibre samples, about 1900.
Science Museum Group Collection.

About the project

Global Threads began in 2019 and is a collaboration between the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery at University College London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester and a diverse team of talented researchers.

We aim to create new networks and conversations about Manchester’s textiles heritage, weaving together narratives about lived experience, resistance, solidarity and industrialisation.

Here, you can explore the research carried out by the Global Threads team so far and discover people, places and museum objects that reveal stories about Manchester’s local and global cotton connections

Explore our Global Threads

The Global Threads case studies have been written by our team, who came together to carry out original research into Manchester’s people, places, memorials and museum objects. You can explore their work below, or find out more about the project’s themes and browse the case studies here.

Frederick Douglass in Manchester

Rekindling abolitionism, challenging complacency

by William Douch

The Irish in nineteenth-century Manchester

Migration, resistance and culture

by Holly French

From Green Park to Quay Street

Legacies of Jamaican enslavement in Manchester

by William Douch

Caribbean foodways

Cultural survival through cuisine

by Megan Bridgeland

Riots, rebels and rhymes

Upheaval and expression in the Lancashire Cotton Famine

by Cameron Christie

The Global Threads team

Get to know the team behind the Global Threads project.

This project has been supported by the UCL UK Office, supporting the development of collaborations and research impact across the UK.