This database brings together for the first time poems written in response to the Lancashire Cotton Famine of 1861-65. They are presented with commentary, audio recitations and musical performances. The crisis was caused by the American Civil War and, as well as poems from British local newspapers, poems published in America are included commenting on the relationship between the US, Britain, cotton, and slavery. Enter here for more information about the background to the site.


Explore a database consisting of 400 poems collected largely from local newspapers in Lancashire and in the US. Many of these texts are only available through local libraries, and some existed before being collected here only in fragile hard copies or microfilm. This unique collection brings together poems expressing the feelings of ordinary people towards this global economic crisis for the first time.


Read the latest blogs from the team behind the Poetry of the Lancashire Cotton Famine 1861-65. Here you’ll find news of upcoming events, press reports reflecting the work of team, and fascinating details of the texts we curate. We will also highlight new projects from partners who engage with the database poems in different ways.


Search this list to discover the vast array of historical figures featured across these 400 poems. From Abraham Lincoln to Queen Victoria, and everyone in between, nineteenth-century newspaper poets commented on their world and the people who shaped it, giving a unique insight into the perspectives and feelings of ordinary people in the 1860s.


Discover the huge variety of places referred to in these poems, from local streets and buildings, to international capital cities and vast geographic regions. Although the greatest concentration of suffering during the crisis was in the industrial heartland of Lancashire, this was a truly global phenomenon, and these poems prove that Victorians were intensely aware of the world around them, and their place within it.


New for the 2020 upgrade of the database, this collection of pages takes you into the amazing partnerships formed by the project over the last few years. From the musical adaptations of Faustus and Jennifer Reid, to the contributions of literary, historical, and linguistic scholars, this collection of resources will detail the way the texts contained here have inspired people around the world.