The English Leather Industry during the long 19th century

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Archaeology


This project presents a review of the various leather industries of the 'long 19th century'. A
comprehensive review of the leather economy would establish important insights into the economic and
social changes occurring between the post-medieval period and a new industrial era. It would provide
information on the geographical developments, particularly of industrial towns and cities in northern
England with the emerging large leather factories of the nineteenth century (Atkins 2012, 94). It would
shine a light on the story of stockbreeding, of key agricultural changes, the growing export markets and
the litany of legal changes of the period, of which the leather economy was greatly disrupted. All of this,
and more, would need to be examined and developed under the purview of this study. Finally, this work
would serve to benefit growing organisations such as the Leather Conservation Centre and the National
Leather Collection, providing a clearer history of the leather economy, as well as reviewing past
manufacturing and preservation methods and increasing archival digitisation, all of which would help in
the improvement and development of conservation methods and heritage sector strategies.


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