OLDHAM VENUE & MAP
The Monthly Oldham Branch Meetings are normally held in the Performance Space of Gallery Oldham, Greaves St, Oldham, OL1 1AL (off Union Street, and through the little garden, if on foot).
The nearest tram stop is Oldham Central, on Union Street, by Sainsbury's.
However, please refer back to the Branch Meetings Page for information, in the event of there being any alteration to the programme.
The present 'Gallery Oldham' as we know it today has been evolving over the years, from the building of the first Public Library in Oldham, through a series of extensions and new buildings to the present building we know today.
Building of the first Public Reference Library and Museum, in Oldham, was started in 1883 (after considerable opposition from some quarters!). A plot of land, on Union Street, adjacent to the Post Office (now home to the Local Studies & Archives Library), was to be the location. It was completed the following year but not opened to the public until 1887. Mr. T.W. Hand was appointed as the first Librarian and Curator. Within the same year, by popular demand, a Lending Department was opened and in 1894 the building was further extended. The Library building also housed the Art Gallery, and in 1933 the Oldham Room was opened ... a Regional Museum with fossils, archaeological finds, models, maps and historical artefacts of local interest; all of which was backed up by the 'Local Collection' of books, pamphlets, local newspapers and publications relative to Oldham.
By the mid 20th Century, Oldham had a Library, Art gallery and Museum housed in an impressive building on Union Street.
And so we come to the 1990s and a growing feeling that, much loved as it was, the old Library, could no longer fulfil 21st century demands. In 2002 Gallery Oldham was completed, integrating museum and gallery services. In 2006 an extension was added, creating the Library and Lifelong Learning Centre, now the building that we see today. This building, in which our Branch has its monthly meetings, can be seen from Union Street, through a public garden, between the old Library and the Local Studies & Archives Library.
However, that isn't the end of the story as ambitious and long term plans are in place to create an even larger and more ambitious venue. OMA (Oldham Museum & Archives), will bring together, on one plot, Gallery Oldham, the Local Studies & Archives and Oldham Theatre Workshop. The old Library is being transformed, as part of OMA, and is destined to provide a new home for the Local Studies & Archives, on the 2nd floor.
- Information on the old library sourced from:
'Oldham Centenary ... a History of Local Government' Pub. 1949