Unlocking Ideas Worth Fighting For
Museums, libraries and archives are still waters that run deep. They are more than objects displayed in exhibitions or papers requested by researchers. Museum and library stores are full of hidden stories and objects each offering new insights into our past. These can offer exciting insights into the past and help inform our present. This blog is the start of a project to rescue and tell some of those stories; to explore and research some of the hidden gems from the collections of the People’s History Museum in Manchester which includes the Labour History Archive and Study Centre and the Working Class Movement Library in Salford. Both organisations have unique collections, charting the rise of popular movements, political parties, and individuals who have been involved with the fight for political, employment and equality rights.
The project will find and recount these stories, unlock the histories that lie hidden within the collections and make them more accessible. This is the very first stage, and there is lots of research to do. Given the nature of the project I have no idea what the outcomes will be or where the research will lead, but this is the place to find out. The blog will not be the only outcome of the project, there will be talks, educational sessions, online exhibitions and things I haven’t even thought of yet. The project will lead to new lines of research enquiry, but more importantly bring to greater attention some of the amazing things in these two amazing places. The project is funded by the nice people at the Esmée Fairbairn Trust through the Effective Collections Scheme in collaboration with the Museums Association.
It won’t just be me writing on here. Hopefully, other people with an interest in the history of working people and politics will contribute too. If you want to know more about the project, perhaps you have researched in either organisation, or visited and seen something and thought ‘I know something about that’ but had no one to tell, do get in touch.