Heritage Organisations

Museums and Libraries

Take a look and learn about all the amazing heritage venues and museums across Greater Manchester & beyond!

Chetham's Library

The oldest free library in the UK and an accredited museum.

About
Oldest free library in the UK
Accredited Museum
Whole of buildings and collections designated
Printed books and manuscripts, local history source

How can people get involved?
At the moment, it’s through online resources and mainly electronic communication with staff. Activity packs for children through our ‘Library Learners’.

How can people contact you remotely?
Email: fwilde@chethams.org.uk
Twitter: @chethamslibrary
Instagram: @chethamslibrary

Clayton Hall Living History Museum

The aim of Clayton Hall Living History Museum (registered charity 1155379) is to preserve and protect Clayton Hall in East Manchester together with its moated surrounds as a heritage centre for the public benefit.

About

The aim of Clayton Hall Living History Museum (registered charity 1155379) is to preserve and protect Clayton Hall in East Manchester together with its moated surrounds as a heritage centre for the public benefit.

We offer regular free public open days throughout the year which include hands-on activities and dressing-up in the Victorian and Tudor Rooms, and history talks about the Hall and its owners including the famous philanthropist, Humphrey Chetham. Our Memories Room has a large local history collection and we host various temporary exhibitions of local interest.

Our tea room is situated in the Tudor section of the Hall and serves refreshments and light lunches on public open days and afternoons teas by prior booking on specific dates through the year.

Private group or school visits can be booked via our website and refreshments or a light lunch can be arranged in advance.

Our popular seasonal activities include Summer, Halloween and Christmas family events.

Clayton Hall is owned by Manchester City Council and managed entirely by volunteer members of the Friends of Clayton Park.
In 2018, the Friends of Clayton Park were proud to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is the equivalent of an MBE for volunteers.
How can people get involved?
We have various volunteering opportunities covering museum duties, cleaning and simple maintenance, gardening and grounds maintenance. New members are always welcome. Email enquiries can be made via our website through info@claytonhall.org
How can people contact you remotely?
Website: http://www.claytonhall.org/
Twitter: @claytonhallUK
Instagram: @Clayton_hall_mcr

Greater Manchester Transport Museum

The Museum of Transport tells the story of public road transport in Greater Manchester from the first buses in 1824 to the present day, with a collection of around 70 vehicles, mainly buses, and objects such as uniforms, badges, signs, ticket machines, etc.

About 
The Museum of Transport tells the story of public road transport in Greater Manchester from the first buses in 1824 to the present day, with a collection of around 70 vehicles, mainly buses, and objects such as uniforms, badges, signs, ticket machines, etc. There is a substantial library and archive of documents, such as time and fare tables, maps and plans, reports, books and magazines, etc., and photographs and films. We are open to visitors all year round, on Wednesdays and weekends, and have a programme of outreach activities where our vehicles can be seen at community events.
General website at motgm.uk has a great deal of background information on our organisation.
How can people get involved?
We are always keen to welcome volunteers, and there is a wide range of activities in which to be involved – crewing vehicles, maintenance and repairs to vehicles or the building itself, operating the Shop or Tea Room, guiding and talking to visitors, preparing displays, or behind the scenes with administration.
How can people contact you remotely? 
Use email@gmts.co.uk any time or telephone 0161 205 2122 during opening hours (10.00 – 16.30, Wednesdays and weekends)
Twitter  @MoTGM
Facebook    MoTGM

Imperial War Museums - The war and conflict subject specialist network

The War and Conflict Subject Specialist Network is a partnership programme led by Imperial War Museums, to build capacity, connections and confidence in the cultural heritage sector. Their aim is to share knowledge and skills amongst the many organisations and groups across the UK and further afield, who cover the period from the First World War to the present day.

About 

The War and Conflict Subject Specialist Network is a partnership programme led by Imperial War Museums, to build capacity, connections and confidence in the cultural heritage sector. Our aim is to share knowledge and skills amongst the many organisations and groups across the UK and further afield, who cover the period from the First World War to the present day.

The SSN is open to those who work for or with not-for-profit organisations. We welcome members from the museums and galleries sector, community organisations, national and local government, heritage institutions, performing arts groups, and from the education sector.

Introductory film about the SSN: https://youtu.be/MNCT2uFZ218

Register of Expertise – a searchable directory of SSN Members: https://www.iwm.org.uk/partnerships/subject-specialist-network/members

After signing up, members receive free access to all our other digital resources.

ssn.iwm.org.uk

How can people get involved?

Sign up free of charge to become a Member, to access the following:

– Free to download resources, including historical timelines and digital assets such as photographs and film
– Helpful guides to support your work, such as tips for collections management
– Invitations to virtual networking events, where you can meet and share ideas
– Opportunities to take part in webinars, to promote collaboration and professional development

How can people contact you remotely? 
Twitter: @iwm_network

John Rylands Research Institute and Library

Based in one of the finest neo-Gothic buildings in Europe and in the heart of Manchester, the John Rylands Research Institute and Library promotes research in the humanities and sciences using the astonishingly rich special collections of The University of Manchester Library.

Based in one of the finest neo-Gothic buildings in Europe and in the heart of Manchester, the John Rylands Research Institute and Library promotes research in the humanities and sciences using the astonishingly rich special collections of The University of Manchester Library.

Special Collections
Our special collections are world-leading in their significance and diversity, offering limitless research potential across a broad spectrum of disciplines. They include several hundred languages and span five thousand years, from Cuneiform tablets to email archives, from Gutenberg to Ginsberg, and contain some of the most significant printed books and manuscripts ever produced. We also hold unique archive collections, maps and visual material, documenting a wealth of traditions from around the world. You can access out special collections both in person and online.

Our research
We are a dynamic community of exceptional scholars and curators, imaging and conservation specialists, and research impact and engagement professionals who support world-leading research based on our outstanding special collections and promote innovative public engagement with research through exhibitions, events and workshops.

Get in touch with us! 

Explore our digital collections!

Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum is the UK’s leading university Museum with extraordinary natural history and humanities collections and typically welcoming over 500,0000 visitors annually.

About

Manchester Museum is the UK’s leading university Museum with extraordinary natural history and humanities collections and typically welcoming over 500,0000 visitors annually. Dedicated to twin goals of building understanding between cultures and a more sustainable world, our vision is to become the world’s most inclusive, imaginative and caring museum and relevant to the diverse communities we serve.

hello future is Manchester Museum’s exciting £13.5 million transformation and will create a new Exhibition Hall, South Asia Gallery, Chinese Culture Gallery, the world’s first Centre for Age Friendly Culture, and a new entrance with visitor facilities that focus on inclusive accessible design.

How can people get involved? 
All our activities have moved online until the Museum reopens and people can connect through our online talks, downloadable resources and the Museums online volunteer project ‘Reading Natures library.’
https://www.mminquarantine.com/https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/mzfasdg2/reading-natures-libraryOur Shared Cultural Heritage (OSCH) seeks to test and evaluate new models for engaging young people from South Asian diaspora and their peers with heritage. The project supports young people in experimenting, creating and leading on activities and events that are relevant and useful to their lives, identities and communities, and that explore the shared histories and cultures of the UK and South Asia. We are keen to engage in cultural celebration, storytelling, social action and other ways and means to explore multicultural belongings in Manchester Museum and heritage spaces beyond the museum. OSCH is a British Council project funded by the National Heritage Fund Kick the Dust programme.
https://sharedculturalheritage.wordpress.com/
How can people get in contact with you remotely? 
Twitter: @McrMuseum @MM_Connects @MM_families @osch_mcr
Facebook: @ManchesterMuseum
Instagram: @McrMuseum @osch_mcr
 

Museum of Medicine and Health

The Museum of Medicine and Health at The University of Manchester contains one of the most extensive collection of medical and bioscience objects in the North West.

About
The Museum of Medicine and Health at The University of Manchester contains one of the most extensive collection of medical and bioscience objects in the North West.
Spanning the past 300 years, the Museum’s Beswick Collection of over 8,000 objects represents a significant educational and cultural asset for the University’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.
The Museum contributes to public exhibitions, engagement with research projects and supports outstanding teaching and learning and student experience. We support the University’s work with schools and colleges to inspire the next generation of doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals.
Our Collection 
The creation of the Museum of Medicine and Health dates back to the closure of the old Manchester Medical School on Coupland Street and the opening of the Stopford Building on Oxford Road in 1973.
Highlights from the collection include a unique brass syringe for penicillin injection, used by Professor of Anatomy G.A.G. Mitchell on D-Day during World War II, and a rare Cruise Endoscope dating from 1865, designed by Dublin urologist, Francis Richard Cruise.

The Portico Library

The Portico Library is a 214-year-old independent subscription library and exhibitions space in central Manchester.

About

The Portico Library is a 214-year-old independent subscription library and exhibitions space in central Manchester. Still housed in its original purpose-built Regency-period venue, it opens free to the public six days a week for exhibitions and events complementing its unique collection of books, archives and illustrations that spans over 450 years. All visitors can enjoy a meal or drink in the cafe and participate in the Library’s writing, research, arts and conservation programmes.

Early members and associates included Thesaurus inventor Peter Mark Roget, Prime Minister Robert Peel, author Elizabeth Gaskell, Guardian newspaper founder John Edward Taylor and Anti-Corn Law League leader Richard Cobden, plus physician and anti-slavery campaigner John Ferriar, leading suffragette family the Pankhursts and James Heywood MP, who proposed and successfully fought for the introduction of public libraries in the UK.

Today, as well as a centre for learning and literature in the city, the Library is also home to The Portico Prize and the Portico Sadie Massey Awards for young readers and writers.

How can people get involved?
Visit our exhibitions; attend our events; dine in our cafe; shop in our independent not-for-profit bookshop; participate in our creative workshops, activities and reading groups; volunteer with our arts, learning or conservation teams; become a member by subscription; use our historic collection to begin your own research project; explore our archives; enter our prizes; book a group tour; read our Off the Shelf illustrated articles or submit your own article to be published; adopt a book.
How can people contact you remotely? 
Twitter: @ThePortico
Instagram: @PorticoLibrary

Working Class Movement Library

The Working Class Movement Library is a treasure trove with records of over 200 years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women. It is free for everyone to use.

About
The Working Class Movement Library is a treasure trove with records of over 200 years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women. It is free for everyone to use.Our collection captures many points of view to tell the story of Britain’s working classes from the beginning of industrialisation to the present day.Our oldest items date from the 1760s. From the 1820s we have some of the earliest trade union documents to have survived.We have artefacts about the Peterloo massacre of 1819 as well as fascinating insights into the lives of the Suffragettes. We have moving accounts of life on the front line in the Spanish Civil War as well as the real life stories of tradesmen and women struggling to make ends meet.We have material on politics of all shades and come up to date with the archive of Jim Allen, the Manchester-born screenwriter who worked on Coronation Street and collaborated with film director Ken Loach.We’re a living collection, growing all the time with fascinating donations from campaigners, activist groups and unions.
How can people get involved?
Sign up to get our regular e-bulletins about library events and activities – www.wcml.org.uk/enewsletters​​​​​​​
How can people contact you remotely? 
Twitter: @wcmlibrary
Instagram:  @wcmlibrary

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