General SourcesR. Kershaw and M. Pearsall, 'Immigrants and Aliens' is a book which gives a general introduction to immigration. The CASBAH website has a useful summary of general books on immigration.
If you are doing your family history and are interested in immigration records then please see our family history section.
The best overview of Manchester's diverse communities, although published as long ago as 1962, is the chapter by W. M. Crawford, 'A Cosmopolitan City', contained in the book 'Rich Inheritance', edited by N. J. Frangopulo. Frangopulo himself went on to contribute an article on 'Foreign Communities in Victorian Manchester' (Manchester Review, vol. 10, Spring-Summer 1965). This paper briefly details the influence of different communities in the Victorian period - Germans, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, Italians and Moroccans.
The 'Strangers in our Midst' series of article which appeared in the Manchester Evening Chronicle in 1958 gives a good account of immigrants in Manchester in the 1950s.
Some glimpses of the position in the early 1970s can be found in the published report of a 1975 Amsterdam seminar on 'Minorities in Urban Communities'. The papers about Manchester include such topics as employment, education and housing.
Steve Cohen's 1987 booklet, 'It's The Same Old Story', looks at the very specific subject of 'Immigration controls against Jewish, Black and Asian people, with special reference to Manchester'.
While specific sources are listed below, Manchester Archives and Local Studies has a wide range of source material for the history of Manchester, and detailed examination of some of these may prove rewarding.
A good example would be the census records we hold for the city of Manchester. We have microform copies of the individual returns from 1841 to 1901, at ten year intervals. These list all the people in a particular household and where they were born. Census records of individuals are closed for 100 years but more recent censuses have included questions about ethnic background, and the Manchester Room@City Library holds printed copies of the reports of these. Sometimes, additional reports were published, based on the official census data. For example, Gillian Lomas and Elizabeth M. Monck produced a volume entitled 'The Coloured Population of Great Britain: A Comparative Study of Coloured Households in Four County Boroughs'. This was based on a study of the official 1971 census, and some unpublished data, to compare the boroughs of Bradford, Leicester, Manchester and Wolverhampton.
Though census data naming individuals generally only survives from 1841, there is an earlier series of records for Manchester which does give insights into the number of migrants to Manchester, including the 'Irish Poor'. These are the Manchester churchwardens accounts for 1809-1848 held by Greater Manchester County Record Office (ref GB127.M3/3/6A & M3/3/6B) The significance of these accounts is explained in an article by J. S. Taylor, 'Set Down In A Large Manufacturing Town' (Manchester Region History Review, vol. 3, no. 2, 1989-90 - pdf file) which should be consulted first.
Another archive collection, covering the period 1847-1927, includes minutes and annual / monthly reports of the Society for the Relief of Really Deserving Distressed Foreigners (ref:GB127.M294/2).
For those able to recognise national or ethnic groups by name alone, we hold a great many local church registers and also electoral registers, though these do not list all registered adults until the 20th century. Names are also recorded in the Manchester directories we hold on microfilm. The Manchester Room@City Library holds a microfilm copy (MF 1286) of J. Scholes, 'Lists of Foreign Merchants in Manchester, 1784-1870', which documents the rise from two firms in 1784 to four hundred and twenty by 1870.