What songs best represent Charles Dickens, wartime posters, a letter from Ohio, Stephenson’s Rocket and plans of Lyme Hall? We’ve been inspired by this National Archives Blog and created a Manchester Archives in music playlist.

Elbow – Great Expectations (2005)

This is a letter from Charles Dickens to Thomas Crook, c.1845

Belle and Sebastian – I Fought in a War (2000)

‘Official agents for sale of war savings certificates’, Jan 1918. Taken from our Manchester at War set.

The Mamas and the Papas – If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears

‘Which is it to be, bonds or bondage?’, War Savings Office, Town Hall, Salford, n.d. Taken from our Manchester at War set.

The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (2010)

This letter is from John Curtis of Brownhelm, Lorain County, Ohio. He wrote to ask for an extra three years to repay a loan as his silk producing industry had failed and he had been forced to become a farmer, dated May 1844.

Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys! (2011)

Taken from The Manchester Local Image Collection this is the earliest known contemporary illustration of Stephenson’s Rocket. Built in 1829, it won a competition held by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway to find the best steam locomotive.

Blur – Country House (1995)

Plan of Lyme Hall with alterations dated January 1814.