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Professor Deborah Wynne (on left) and Dr Louisa Yates (on right) with the publication at Gladstone's Library.

Links forged for almost 150 years between the University of Chester and Gladstone’s Library have been reinforced with a joint publication which offers insights on the significance of everyday objects and consumer culture in the Victorian era.

Edited by a Professor from the University, Deborah Wynne, and former student, Dr Louisa Yates - who is now Director of Collections and Research at the Flintshire library - Victorian Material Culture explores the most important developments in manufacturing history, across the 19th century.

The book is part of a six-volume collection discussing everything from chatelaines - sets of short chains on belts to carry items - to whale blubber, and ice making machines to stained glass.

With the Industrial Revolution, and new commodities of the 1800s, the new publication offers a unique insight into the way Victorians responded to the production and consumption of manufactured goods.

The volume, IV - Manufactured Things, brings together a range of primary sources on Victorian manufactured items and the cultures associated with them, considering mass produced industrial and domestic objects including fabrics, clothing, carpet, paper, cutlery, locks, keys, ceramics, glass, soap and candles.

Professor Wynne said: “The Industrial Revolution saw the rapid expansion of technology and the development of factory production, and developments in consumerism characterised this period. Lives were transformed in terms of increased access to the ownership of objects.

“Providing a new perspective, this collection addresses important questions about how we classify and categorise 19th-century things - and demonstrates the significance of objects in the everyday lives of the Victorians.

“It has been an honour to work with Dr Yates and explore the archives at Gladstone’s Library to create this volume, and continue a long history of the institutions working together.”

Dr Yates added: “Not only have I been extremely lucky to be able to work with Professor Wynne but it’s been a wonderful opportunity to highlight the historic collections in some of the UK’s most significant cultural institutions.”

For further information on the book, published by Routledge, please visit:

Gladstone's Library, in Hawarden, is the UK's finest residential library, and the UK's only Prime Ministerial library, built following a bequest from William Ewart Gladstone, Victorian statesman and four-times Prime Minister of Great Britain. The current building, raised in 1902 and designed by John Douglas, was funded by public subscription, and the organisation is a self-sustaining registered charity.

For more details on Gladstone’s Library, please go to:

The University of Chester is one of the oldest Higher Education institutions in England. The college which would become the University was founded in 1839 by such pioneers as Gladstone; another Prime Minister of the 19th century - the Earl of Derby, and a future Archbishop of Canterbury.

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