Banknotes are of great interest to collectors and local historians for several reasons. A collection of banknotes for any given town or area shows the economic development of Britain during the industrial revolution and on into the late nineteenth century. For those whose ancestors were partners in these banks a banknote is of special interest as it gives a dated example of their signature - the majority of early banknotes were all hand-signed. Many banknotes also bear the signature of the clerk who entered the banknote in the note issue register.

When banknotes were used to purchase goods and services, many tradesmen would stamp the reverse with the name of their business; often too, people would write their names on the reverse. A well-used banknote thus became a record of local businesses and personalities of the time.