Charles Matthews’ legacy to local history research

11 June 2021

The Founders and Notable Contributors to the Loughborough Library
Local History Collection

Mr. Charles Matthews, a local historian and amateur photographer, salvaged a number of glass plate negatives of Victorian scenes of Loughborough that otherwise would have been lost. These are still in existence and held in the Loughborough Library archives. Alongside many items from his own collection of photographs, the glass slides were exhibited in Loughborough Library in 1963. The exhibition was a great success. It was featured on television and thousands of people came to see it.

Mr. Matthews’ whole collection was eventually passed on to Loughborough Library and became the basis of what is now known as the Local Studies Collection, held in the Local and Family History Centre at Loughborough Library. The photographs were integrated into the 20th Century Photograph Collection and the books and papers are now available to all local historians and researchers.

There have been a number of other contributions to the Collection over the years, many by notable local historians such as Ian Keil, Brian Williams, Don Wix and George Green to name but a few. Other collections of information in many forms, have been donated by one-time employees of local companies such as Ladybird Books and Brush. Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers currently work with the Collection, constantly adding information, acquisitions and donations, in order to protect and enhance it for future generations.

If you have any documents, books, notes etc. that you feel would be a useful addition to this collection of Charnwood local history, please contact the Volunteers, in the first instance by emailing We shall reply as soon as possible given the limitations of the current Covid-19 situation.

Article submitted by Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers

Read a personal memory of Charles Matthews here.

Find an article showing photographs Mr Matthews took of the Loughborough Midland station in the 1950s here (published in The Loughborough Echo in October 2017).

Portrait of Charles Matthews in the Local History section of Loughborough Library, supplied by the Local History Volunteers.