What nearly became rubbish more than three decades ago is the latest treasure to join a village archive at a college.

A six-foot map of the Aire Valley – believed to date from the 1840s – was rescued from a journey to the tip by historian and property director John Wignall.

After hanging on a wall at his home in Brighouse for 30 years, the antique map will have pride of place at this year’s annual exhibition at Shipley College.

Founder of the Saltaire History Club and local historian Dave Shaw said the map, which runs from Micklethwaite to Cookridge, was important. “It shows the Aire Valley at a particularly interesting time, very shortly before the building of Saltaire,” he said. “It features the earlier Dixon Mill and nearby buildings.

“The railway line is also featured, so the map presumably dates from the late 1840s. This is sure to be of interest to local historians and anyone interested in the development of Saltaire.”

It is more than 137 years since the last building in Saltaire was completed and from Monday, July, 22, Shipley College opens the archive exhibition. The unique collection has expanded year after year through donations from residents and the Salt family.

Mr Wignall said: “I came by this map while as a young articled clerk working at the offices of Dacre Son & Hartley in Otley and a large batch of these old plans were being sent to the tip. I have had this map on a wall at home for some 30 years.”

The exhibition offers a fascinating insight of life in the village. Principal at Shipley College Nav Chohan said: “We are delighted to be able to open up our doors to the community and visitors to share Saltaire’ heritage.”

The archive will be on display on weekdays from Monday, July 22, to Friday, August 2, from 10am to 3pm, in the Salt Building of Shipley College, Victoria Road.