The intention was for Scotland set up trading colonies around the globe after the model of other European nations at that time, beginning with a settlement on the Darien Isthmus near present-day Panama.
Again it is possible to chart the effects of the Industrial Revolution on land use and property values in one of Britain's most important urban centres, as farms and fields were converted to roads, railways, homes and factories.
The collection contains the largest series of parish registers in the country, because of the peculiar coincidence of a very large parish with a huge population increase during the 18th and 19th centuries.
At times of peak demand, more than a hundred couples would be wed in a single day, married in batches of 20-30.
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The Cathedral Church of Manchester has been at the centre of the city of Manchester's history and the Cathedral Archive contains a detailed picture of changing land use in the centre of the world's first industrial city Manchester Cathedral is one of only a handful of Anglican cathedrals that hold their own archives on site.