Lancashire Archives, Preston has just launched its new online digital resource, the Red Rose Collections. (It replaces the old Lancashire Lantern website). This wonderful resource includes: over 30,000 historic photos, an index to old Lancashire newspapers, an index to historical documents including Whittingham Asylum records, an index to the Preston Guild Rolls 1397-1992, an index of officers who served in Lancashire Constabulary, and the Fleetwood Online Archive of Trawlers.
If you find a record relating to the ancestor you are interested in, then you can contact Lancashire Archives and order a copy (but sadly an ordering facility is not currently available for the photos of Fleetwood trawlers).
There is also an ongoing project to index people and places named in the local history book collection, these indexes will appear on the Lancashire Libraries catalogue.
I did a 'quick search' for 'Manchester', and 'Salford' in the online search box and there were over 2000 results for Manchester and nearly 800 for Salford, so if your ancestors came from those cities or any other towns in historic Lancashire, it's well worth your time exploring the site.
It's worrying, however, that Lancashire County Council is thinking of making more changes to services like libraries owing to the unprecedented squeeze on local authority funding by the government - this is on top of the recent closures of five Lancashire's museums.
To think when I was growing up, I took it for granted that amenities like libraries and museums and social housing were an immutable part of the landscape. By the Tories' austerity ideology has run its full course we will have nothing left. There would be plenty of money for all these facilities if the big corporations and businesses paid a meaningful amount of tax instead of parking it offshore. In my humble opinion, anyway.