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Statements and responses

1 December 2023

On 10 December 2023 it will be the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This collective proclamation was drafted by representatives from all regions of the world as “a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations”.  Its creation was seen as a milestone in the history of human rights and continues to be regarded as such today.

The declaration was made with hope and the anniversary is a time to rekindle that hope and to be reminded of the protection, freedom and justice that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights offers to every individual throughout the world.

On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December visitors to People’s History Museum will be able to take part in Write for Rights 2023, organised by Amnesty International UK.  The annual event gives people the opportunity to send messages of support to survivors of human rights abuses all over the world.

15 September 2023

Today marks the start of the Welcome Project at PHM beginning on site at People’s History Museum (PHM).

‘The Welcome Project at PHM will implement some physical changes to People’s History Museum that are designed to improve accessibility for all visitors and in particular disabled people.

‘The first stages of this begin today (Friday 15 September 2023), with the replacement of the museum’s main front doors with fully accessible sliding doors, and we expect this work to finish on Friday 29 September.  It will be followed by the installation of a Changing Places toilet in January 2024, digital entry screens and more.  All the steps being taken have been identified in an access audit which was carried out by Manchester Disabled People’s Access Group (MDPAG) in 2020 and drive forward our ambition for PHM to be an exemplar for accessibility and visitor experience.

‘As well as improving accessibility to PHM’s galleries, exhibitions and events, the project will also create an accessible civic space in the Spinningfields area of Manchester city centre.’

Becky Peters, Interim Director, People’s History Museum.

The Welcome Project at PHM has received guidance and support from Manchester Disabled People’s Access Group (MDPAG), the Nothing About Us Without Us (NAUWU) project steering group, and NAUWU exhibition Community Curators.  NAUWU is part of a body of work that included PHM’s 2022-2023 headline exhibition of the same name, Nothing About Us Without Us, which explores the history of disabled people’s activism and ongoing fight for rights and inclusion (closes 16 October 2023).  The Welcome Project at PHM is funded by DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund 2022-2024, Valencia Communities Fund, Manchester City Council and the government’s Changing Places Fund.

17 August 2023

People’s History Museum (PHM) is a museum about ideas worth fighting for, an activist museum that is seeking a fairer world for all. We’ve chosen to pause our presence on X (formerly Twitter) so that we can reflect on the role it plays in interactions with our visitors, the communities we work alongside and the global changemakers that we ally with.

9 March 2023

We are celebrating the news that the landmark exhibition Nothing About Us Without Us and the supporting programme has been shortlisted as Community Engagement Programme of the Year in the Museum + Heritage Awards.  This recognises the incredible efforts of the entire PHM team, the team of Community Curators who we worked alongside, Alison Wilde, Anis Akhtar, Hannah Ross and Ruth Malkin, the steering group who helped to guide the process and all those who have contributed their stories and experiences. Nothing About Us Without Us began with a vision to boldly explore the history of disabled people’s activism and ongoing fight for rights and inclusion in a way that has never been done before and bringing this to life has taken a huge amount of dedication, collaboration and imagination.   The awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday 10 May, where we will join other amazing museums and cultural organisations from across the country in celebration of the inspiring work that has been achieved over the last year.

1 March 2023

30 January 2023

People’s History Museum (PHM) has joined human rights organisations who share a collective concern about the impact the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill could have on the right to strike.  The Bill threatens a huge backward step for workers’ rights and freedoms; ones that generations before them have fought to secure and be recognised in law.  We know how hard these have been to achieve, because PHM represents the stories of those who paved the way to change, including the stories of the Ascott Martrys (1873), the Match Girls’ Strike (1888), the General Strike (1926), the Grunwick strike (1976), the Miners’ Strike (1984-1985) and the Ambulance strikes (1989-1990).

Alongside 50 organisation we have signed an open letter to the Business Secretary, urging the government to reconsider their proposals.

If you would like to add your voice you can sign the TUC’s Protect the Right to Strike petition.

6 January 2023

It was reported in the media that Samuel (aged 14) visited People’s History Museum on Thursday 5 January and was subsequently reported missing.  Samuel visited as part of a group of four young people who were accompanied by two adults.  We understand that Samuel left the museum unaccompanied by anyone from his group just before 11.00am and was then seen on Gartside Street.  Following a public appeal by GMP he was safely found on the evening of Thursday 5 January.

19 August 2022

People’s History Museum’s energy bills have doubled since this time last year, and without knowing what the price cap announcement will be it is assumed that these costs might be doubled again.

This challenge is compounded by the fact that the museum is still recovering income caused by the impact, closures and aftermath of Covid-19.  Furthermore, part of the museum’s site is a Grade II listed building, including a large Engine Hall, which makes energy efficiency considerably difficult without access to the expertise or funding to achieve this.  People’s History Museum joins the rest of the cultural sector in calling for urgent government support in this issue.

14 July 2022

Being shortlisted as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022 has been a tremendous experience for People’s History Museum and brought so many benefits.  One of those has been meeting the other shortlisted museums and being inspired by the work they are doing and it’s been a delight to see Horniman Museum and Gardens go on to win the award.

Being a part of these awards has also brought into real focus for us what an amazing contribution museums are making to the world that we are living in, how much they should be valued, the passion that is behind them, the power they have to bring people together and the important voice that they can have.

We want to thank the amazing Art Fund team and judges for all of their support and for the incredible experience that this has been.   The recognition that has been given to our approach to community collaboration, commitment to championing marginalised voices and the way we use our collections to inspire future change has given our team, volunteers and all those who support us great strength that will carry us even further forward in our ambitions.

10 May 2022

People’s History Museum is delighted to share the news that it has been announced as one of five museums shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022.

Being shortlisted for the largest museum prize in the world is testament to the incredible work of PHM’s team bringing the museum’s vision to life of a fairer society where people’s voices and actions make a difference; working with communities, exploring hidden stories, giving space to unheard voices and nurturing authentic content.  We are also proud to be a museum about campaigning, sharing radical histories and inspiring stories of today’s trailblazers, and we are proud to stand with these changemakers as a campaigning museum ourselves.

The results will be announced on Thursday 14 July 2022.  Read the full press release to find out more.

28 April 2022

We are deeply saddened to hear that the government has continued with its plans to pass the Nationality and Borders Bill through Parliament.  Despite the combined efforts of organisations and individuals standing Together With Refugees campaigning in opposition.  The voices could not have been louder, the messages could not have been stronger or more passionate, and the urgency could not have been more pressing.

This Bill threatens refugees and stands as a barrier to those fleeing war and persecution.  It impacts people who have been left with no other options to find safety by taking dangerous journeys to get to the UK; people who have already suffered, people who deserve far better.

People’s History Museum believes in kindness and compassion and in a human-rights led approach.  Our work with charities, community organisations, refugee-led groups and cultural organisations will continue until a fairer way of treating refugees is achieved.

3 March 2022

People’s History Museum stands united in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and sends a message of hope to the world.

The attack on democracy, the plight of refugees and the right to protest; these are at the core of the stories that we share with visitors and explore with communities as we seek to learn from those who footsteps we follow in and realise our vision for a fairer society – one where voices are heard and equality prevails.  World events bring into sharp focus just how precious hard fought for rights are and the important role we can play as the UK’s national museum of democracy.

We are a museum that lives by our activist principles and we urge the UK government to welcome Ukrainians who are desperately seeking sanctuary at this time.  This is why we are continuing to urge the government to rethink the Nationality and Border Bill, which threatens to criminalise refugees for the route they take to the UK.  We want to ensure that protection not persecution leads our nation’s approach to refugees.

Our thoughts are with the people and friends of Ukraine.

If you agree, write to your MP, so that Ukrainian refugees and all others seeking asylum can find safety without discrimination: #StandWithUkraine #TogetherWithRefugees

People’s History Museum
National museum of democracy

14 February 2022

People’s History Museum (PHM) is wearing its heart on its sleeve to stand Together With Refugees and against the Nationality and Borders Bill.  Today, on Valentine’s Day, it will deliver postcards to the Home Secretary that visitors have been writing to show their reactions to the Bill.

This is one of the ways that alongside a coalition of international development charities, grassroots and community organisations, refugee-led groups, and cultural institutions, PHM has been using its platform as the national museum of democracy to urge the government to rethink its approach to the Nationality and Borders Bill.

‘The proposed changes to the Nationality and Borders Bill fail to consider the people whose lives it will affect; some of the most vulnerable people in the world who are facing the most challenging circumstances imaginable.  We want people to be put at the heart of how our nation approaches refugees and to remind government of the importance of advancing human rights, not going back on principles that have stood as a guiding light for decades.  The proposed legislation will create a discriminatory two-tier system that judges an asylum seeker on the route they take to the UK, not why they came here.  It threatens to criminalise those who are seeking asylum as part of their legal right under international law and to use ‘off shore’ processing centres and out of town institutions to house refugees which we believe would be inhumane.

‘Over the last three years a central part of our work as the national museum of democracy has focused upon the experiences of migrants and the results of this can be seen throughout our exhibitions and visitor activities.  These moving stories remind us of the people whose lives are affected by legislation, of the power of positive action and that we should always take a human rights led approach in all that we do.’

Jenny Mabbott
Head of Collections & Engagement

30 November 2021

Today it becomes mandatory for face coverings to be worn in shops in England, and this requirement will apply to visitors to PHM shop.

We will also continue to encourage people exploring the museum’s galleries and exhibitions to wear a face covering and our own staff will continue this practice.  These are part of the Covid-19 safety measures that we are maintaining for the wellbeing of our staff and visitors, which include sanitiser stations, increased ventilation and heightened cleaning regimes.

With these simple measures in place we hope that visitors can enjoy an enjoyable and relaxed experience at People’s History Museum.

Find out more about planning a visit to PHM.

Greater Manchester Cultural Venues – Covid-19 pledge:  As cultural venues across the city-region continue to respond to the changing threat of Covid-19, as a sector, we want to reassure audiences and visitors alike that your health and wellbeing is our upmost priority.  No two venues will respond to changing guidance from government in exactly the same way.  Our venues are different sizes, shapes and operate in different ways appropriate to the needs of those individual businesses.  What is consistent, however, is the care and attention each venue will bring to keeping audiences safe and the thrill and excitement our artists, production companies, staff and volunteers feel at the thought of being able to share great art and culture with you face to face.  The pandemic has been a tough old time, but we’re standing side by side ready to welcome you back.

18 October 2021

People’s History Museum (PHM) is standing Together With Refugees and against the Nationality and Borders Bill.

The ability to seek asylum is a precious right that belongs to all; a milestone in the history of human rights when it was granted by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Asylum seekers are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. They are forced to flee because of a threat of persecution and because of lack of protection in their own country. This could be due to war or genocide or for political, religious or social reasons. These are people who need our help to rebuild their lives, not to face further persecution. When we talk about the legal system, the individuals whose lives these changes are affecting, can often be overlooked.

The UK is widely considered one of the leading democracies in the world, to propose restrictions on asylum seekers threatens and undermines the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And if the Nationality and Borders Bill passes into law it would profoundly undermine the UK’s commitment to the 1951 Refugee Convention. This sets a dangerous precedent for other countries and one that as the national museum of democracy we cannot be voiceless on.

PHM believes that the Nationality and Borders Bill will create a discriminatory two tier system that judges an asylum seeker on the route they take to the UK, not on why they came here. As well as violating the 1951 Refugee Convention, this will introduce more severe penalties that threaten to criminalise those seeking asylum for exercising their legal right. PHM also considers proposals to expel asylum seekers to ‘off shore’ processing centres and to house asylum seekers in out of town institutions (rather than in the community) inhumane.

People’s History Museum stands Together With Refugees. We will continue to raise our concerns, urge others to do so, and work with partner organisations to amplify their campaigns.

12 September 2021

Protest and change are inextricably linked.  It is by protesting to make themselves heard that activists have paved the way to achieve many of the changes that over time have helped to shape a better world for all.  We’ve seen it in past history and we are seeing it before our very eyes with campaigns such as those focused on equality and the environment.

These are the ideas worth fighting for that are explored throughout People’s History Museum and in all of its work; past, present and future.  We see the power of protest and how it has informed the rights of citizens in a free society.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is set to change the nature of protests, with the threat that they that are too noisy or causing ‘serious annoyance’ potentially giving grounds for them to be shut down.  Most worrying to a democratic society is the potential for arrest that it makes possible, which is likely to silence those in the community that are already marginalised, or those who already struggle to have their voices heard.

As the national museum of democracy we stand alongside those urging the government to reconsider its approach to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and this is why People’s History Museum has signed an open letter to the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Justice expressing our urgent concerns.

Katy Ashton
Director, People’s History Museum

21 July 2021

People’s History Museum is working with partners from across the city to ensure that thousands of heartfelt messages placed on the mural of footballer Marcus Rashford in Withington, Manchester are preserved.

These have been left by members of the local community and those that have travelled long distances to share their messages and join in what has become a national moment.

In conjunction with Withington Walls, Manchester Art Gallery, Central Library’s Archives, National Football Museum and University of Manchester discussions have taken place on the best approach to take.  All are united in wanting to ensure these words of love are preserved by Marcus Rashford’s home city so that a lasting legacy is created that can be used in the future for education and public display in a way that also matches Marcus’ wishes.

All those that have shared their messages of love and support remind us of those that champion ideas worth fighting for.  Their actions have given hope to the whole nation.

19 July 2021

We will continue to provide a safe, welcoming and enjoyable visit from Monday 19 July when significant changes will be made to Covid-19 restrictions.

Like lots of cultural venues we have decided to maintain some Covid-19 safety measures to take care of both our staff and our visitors. We have consulted with sector bodies including the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and we hope our measures will provide visitors with a relaxed and enjoyable time exploring our galleries and exhibitions, taking part in our activities and visiting our cafe.

From Monday 19 July our team will be continuing to wear face coverings in the museum and we are asking visitors to do the same.

Our pre-booking system will remain in place, giving visitors the ability to plan their visit this way, while also welcoming people to walk-up on the day. Our sanitiser stations, increased ventilation and cleaning regimes will all continue, although we will no longer be operating a one-way system throughout the building.

Our opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 4.00pm, which means that these updates will come into effect from Wednesday 21 July.

Find out more about planning a visit to PHM.

Greater Manchester Cultural Venues – Covid-19 pledge: As theatres, museums and galleries across the city-region begin to reopen their doors and spring to life once again, as a sector, we want to reassure audiences and visitors alike that your health and wellbeing is our upmost priority.

No two venues will respond to the introduction of Stage 4 of the government’s ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ in exactly the same way.  Our venues are different sizes, shapes and operate in different ways appropriate to the needs of those individual businesses.

What is consistent, however, is the thrill and excitement our artists, production companies, staff and volunteers feel at the thought of being able to share great art and culture with you again face to face. It has been a tough old time, but we’re back, side by side and cannot wait for you to join us.

23 June 2021

People’s History Museum (PHM) is thrilled to announce that Bernard Donoghue has been appointed as its new Chair. A leading figure in the tourism and heritage sectors Bernard brings an incredible wealth of experience and passion to the role.

As the Chief Executive of ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions) Bernard is a respected voice nationally and internationally for the tourism sector. He has been a Trustee of People’s History Museum since 2018 and has held numerous board roles, including with WWF-UK and Centrepoint, and in June 2021 was appointed Chair of Bristol Old Vic.

Lord Steve Bassam and Martin Carr have been Co-Chairs since November 2019, following Baroness Jan Royall, who was Chair from January 2016. Thanks to their collective brilliance and dedication, together with that of PHM team’s, the museum’s work to share and explore the stories and ideas of those who have fought for rights and freedoms for all, and those who are continuing to campaign for change today has been both impactful and groundbreaking.

PHM is a museum dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of ideas worth fighting for and it with enormous excitement that it welcomes Bernard as its Chair, whose enthusiasm and passion for this work is inspiring.

Read the full press release to find out more.

30 April 2021

It’s been over five months since People’s History Museum (PHM) was able to open to the public, so it is with a great deal of excitement and anticipation that we are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the national museum of democracy from Wednesday 19 May 2021.

We are also thrilled to once again be taking our place within the vibrant cultural landscape that makes Greater Manchester such a fascinating place to visit and explore.

It’s time to again celebrate the joy that comes from visiting a museum and from immersing yourself in the exhibitions, collections and stories that connect the past with the present and the future.

We reopen on Wednesday 19 May 2021 with new opening hours (Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 4.00pm) and a wealth of new exhibitions and experiences to relish and enjoy.

30 March 2021

People’s History Museum (PHM) is delighted to be introducing a new food and drink offer to the national museum of democracy.  Our reopening on Wednesday 19 May will coincide with the launch of Open Kitchen at People’s History Museum.

Chosen for their ethical approach, environmental credentials, passion for good food for all and commitment to inclusivity, a partnership with Open Kitchen is the perfect fit for PHM.  The innovative partnership also means that Open Kitchen at People’s History Museum will be the first museum cafe and bar in the country to use a mix of beautiful food intercepted from becoming waste and locally and sustainably sourced ingredients to create delicious, ethical seasonal menus.

The Open Kitchen team will be transforming the museum’s cafe and bar, with a refit that will feature upcycled, recycled and reclaimed materials, as well as offering catering for events at the museum.  By day it will offer an all-day menu for museum visitors whilst by evening it will switch the ambiance with table service drinks and small plates available.

Open Kitchen has evolved into Manchester’s leading conscious catering company.  It works alongside a range of food businesses to source perfectly edible food that would otherwise go to waste, purchases ingredients from a sustainable food chain and supports other ethical business and social enterprises.  The menu will be largely vegetarian and vegan, showcasing a smaller selection of meat dishes using Pasture for Life reared, locally sourced meat.

17 March 2021

The Peterloo Massacre (16 August 1819) represents the shared history of all, and the Peterloo Memorial in Manchester city centre should be a symbol of democracy and equality for all.

That it should instead be highlighting the inequality that disabled people are met with so often, and the ongoing day to day fights they face to achieve equality, is very disappointing.

The calls from the community for the issue of access to be addressed began in 2019 and continue today.  People’s History Museum will be following the activists’ campaign, documenting and sharing their story and helping to amplify their voices.

15 March 2021

People’s History Museum (PHM) is planning to reopen from Wednesday 19 May 2021, in line with the government’s latest roadmap.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming people back to PHM.  Our museum team have really missed the vibrancy that visitors bring and the opportunity to share ideas and conversations in our spaces.

When we open our doors we will have a number of new exhibitions on show as part of our migration programme.  This will include More in Common: in memory of Jo Cox, with the Jo Cox Memorial Wall on public display for the first time since it was created following the tragic murder of Jo Cox MP in 2016.  Shortly following this (from Saturday 29 May) we are delighted to host A British Museum Spotlight Loan, Crossings: community and refuge, which will tour the Lampedusa cross around the UK for the first time.  Made from remnants of a boat carrying refugees that was wrecked off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa in 2013, the Lampedusa cross and the messages it carries of kindness, community and indifference are hugely symbolic.  The piece is tremendously poignant to our work as the national museum of democracy and we’re delighted to be part of its tour.

We also have a number of exciting news announcements to make in the weeks ahead of our reopening.  We’ll continue to share updates through our e-news and across our social media channels: TwitterFacebook and Instagram.  The opening hours for the museum when we reopen will be Wednesday to Sunday (10.00am to 4.00pm).

Katy Ashton
Director, People’s History Museum

26 February 2021

People’s History Museum (PHM) is looking forward to reopening its doors as soon as we can after 17 May 2021.  Keep up to date with our reopening plans by signing up to PHM’s e-newsletter.

In the meantime we have lots of  Ideas Worth Exploring at home and online, with creative activities and learning experiences put together by our brilliant team to reflect the museum’s stories, collections and archives.  PHM is proud to be an independent museum, committed to continuing to share and celebrate the diverse stories that PHM represents as the national museum of democracy.  If you love what we do and would like to become a part of PHM’s radical journey then please consider making a donation or Join the Radicals.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the museum, and in the meantime you can find updates across all our social media channels: TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

26 January 2021

As we start the new year we’ve been uplifted by the warmth and strength of the messages of support we’ve received through our Crowdfunder, which set out to safeguard People’s History Museum’s future at this difficult time.  We greatly appreciate all of the very generous donations we have received.

People’s words and sentiments have clearly demonstrated how much value is placed in us as the national museum of democracy and the important work we do.

We celebrate the actions of people who have helped to create positive change for the many.  We use these stories to inspire more people to speak up, share their voice, and champion ideas worth fighting for.  We believe every single person has the power to change the world.

As we continue to face challenges and uncertainty, we are arming ourselves with this positivity and welcome anyone who wants to stand with us, to Join the Radicals and become a part of our future.

Katy Ashton
Director, People’s History Museum

15 December 2020

Over the years People’s History Museum (PHM) has grown in its size, reach and vision as the national museum of democracy.  We’ve carved out a unique role for ourselves in our dedicated exploration of British democracy, past, present and future, and in doing so we’ve led the way in co-creation, community engagement and inclusivity.

We were forged, somewhat against the odds, in the 1960s by those who believed in the power of democracy and collective action for the good of all.  Building a museum dedicated to democracy wasn’t an easy path, and it wasn’t until we made our home in the radical city of Manchester that our future was really set.  We now occupy both a historic landmark of Greater Manchester and alongside it a striking new building in which over the last ten years we’ve delivered bold programmes of activity, grown a collection that represents the stories of those who have championed rights and equality for all, and worked with an amazing array of communities and individuals to help shine a light on their stories.

The challenge of Covid-19 has hit us hard.  We rode the storm at first thanks to our amazing team, our supporters and our own resources.  However, the ongoing lockdowns and regional restrictions continue to devastate our important income channels, placing our survival as we go into 2021 in a very precarious situation.

It feels ironic that in a time when democracy globally has been such a hugely important focal point, that Britain’s own national museum of democracy should be under threat.   It’s a situation that no-one could have foreseen, but we are also very hopeful, and believe that collectively we can secure the future of PHM.

So, we are asking our friends for help.  If you love PHM as much as we do and value the work and role we play, then please support our Crowdfunder campaign, Secure our Future A small donation or a share of our campaign could make all the difference.

Thank you.

Katy Ashton
People’s History Museum

27 November 2020

People’s History Museum (PHM) is unfortunately unable to open its doors to visitors as Greater Manchester is to be placed into Tier 3 of the government’s Covid restrictions from Wednesday 2 December.  We will reopen when we are able to and very much look forward to welcoming people back to the museum.

In the meantime there are lots of new online activities to enjoy and you can now explore the galleries yourself via a 3D online tour, or join our Head of Collections & Engagement, Jenny Mabbott, on a Google ‘Art for Two’ tour with actor Alfred Enoch.

PHM Shop which is stocked with brilliant books and gifts inspired by our collections, will be open Monday and Thursday, 11.00am – 3.00pm from 3 December until Christmas.  And if you cannot visit us yourself, we are also offering a personalised gift service.

Behind the scenes our work continues, with a focus on contemporary collecting to reflect the unprecedented events of 2020.  When we reopen our programme will focus on the theme of migration and how it has shaped modern Britain.

At this time your support is valued more than ever, and there are many ways that you can help support the unique work that we do as the national museum of democracy.

Sign up to PHM’s e-newsletter for information about reopening as we have it; and keep in touch through our social media channels: TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

We hope to be able to welcome you back to the museum very soon.

2 November 2020

In line with the national lockdown announced by the government, People’s History Museum (PHM) will close its doors from 5.00pm on Wednesday 5 November, reopening on Thursday 3 December 2020.  The spirit of the museum will continue to be very much alive during this time, with lots of ideas, inspiration and experiences available for you to explore.

In addition to PHM’s online programme of events and activities, Ideas Worth Exploring, this month also sees the launch of some of the museum’s recent exhibitions and contemporary collecting on Google Arts & Culture, along with the opportunity to take a 3D tour of PHM’s galleries.

The next few weeks will be difficult for many people, communities and organisations, who will all be in our thoughts.

We very much look forward to welcoming people back to the national museum of democracy, and in the meantime, we’ll continue to share updates via our regular e-newsletter and blog, which you can subscribe to, and across our social media channels: TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

And if you are able to add your support at this time, it would be greatly appreciated.

22 October 2020

Museums are places to escape the everyday to explore different worlds, lives and experiences, and as the national museum of democracy the importance of the stories we share has never felt more powerful.  Our galleries are full of treasures representing the ideas of those who have fought for rights and representation over the last 200 years; from the Peterloo Massacre to recent global events.  We proudly stand at the heart of Manchester, a city that has always been a hotbed of radical ideas and progressive movements.

Katy Ashton
People’s History Museum

29 June 2020

People’s History Museum (PHM) is looking forward to getting back to what it does best; welcoming visitors to explore the museum’s fascinating collections and unique building.  We are planning to reopen on Tuesday 1 September 2020 and we can’t wait to see you at the national museum of democracy.

The wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our top priority, and PHM is not rushing to reopen until we can do so safely and responsibly.  The team are hard at work behind the scenes, reviewing the best available public health advice and sector guidance.  You will find PHM introduces clear safety measures so that visitors can enjoy the best possible experience of PHM’s stories, objects and archives that illuminate the world of the revolutionaries, reformers, workers, voters, citizens and radicals who championed, then and now, for change, rights and equality.

Visitors will be able to explore the two main galleries, see the 2020 Banner Exhibition and discover the recently launched augmented reality (AR) experience exploring radical history makers on strike.  PHM’s shop and The Left Bank cafe bar will be open, with space also available for those who want to bring their own food and drink.

PHM will continue to shine a light on migration, the museum’s headline theme for 2020-2021.  This includes our work with the Community Programme Team, six people whose own lives have been shaped by migration, which will unfold following the reopening, with ideas and activities to inspire action.  Contemporary collecting continues to be an important focus for PHM, as we ensure that the museum’s future collections reflect the unprecedented events and collective action of 2020.

Sign up to receive the e-newsletter to keep up to date with all the details on how to plan your visit.

Those who are unable to visit the museum can continue to take part in Ideas Worth Exploring, featuring events, activities and resources produced during lockdown to connect people and share hope, conversations and creativity.

The work and role of PHM has never felt more important and we have ambitious plans for how we engage people with the museum’s stories of ideas worth fighting for.  If you are able to add your support to help PHM reopen, it will make a real difference.

17 June 2020

People’s History Museum (PHM) has been closed to the public since March 2020, though our teams have remained busy planning, creating, amplifying and connecting with communities.  We are also working towards a time when it will be safe to open the museum doors again to visitors, and will share further news when we are able to.

Public events usually taking place at the museum have found a new life online, including those focused on PHM’s headline theme for 2020; migration.  Discover Ideas Worth Exploring at home and online, for a range of activities you can participate in remotely.

In the last few weeks we’ve stood in solidarity with people around the world united behind the call for change led by #BlackLivesMatter. One of our first actions has been to actively collect materials from the anti-racism events and protests taking place locally, nationally and internationally.

The museum has also started documenting and collecting around some of the campaigns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic; migrant health workers and the NHS, the experiences of disabled people, PPE shortages, and the role of key workers.

If you would like to contribute to the collection of the national museum of democracy in any of these areas you can contact:

Look out for updates on this website, sign up to our regular e-newsletter, subscribe to the blog, and find us on Twitter @PHMMcr, Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.  The work and role of PHM has never felt more important, so if you are able to add your support it would be greatly appreciated.  We look forward to welcoming you to the home of ideas worth fighting for when we are back open.

1 June 2020

#BlackLivesMatter is more than an idea worth fighting for; it is a human right.

People’s History Museum (PHM) believes in a fairer world for all, where people are inspired and motivated to take action against inequality and injustice.

We stand in solidarity with communities in Minneapolis and around the world who are making their voices heard in order to bring about change.

#BlackLivesMatter #BeTheChange

5 May 2020

Like the rest of the world, People’s History Museum (PHM) is having to do things very differently at the moment as we all collectively seek to minimise the impact of Covid-19.  During this time the museum stands in solidarity behind the message #StayHomeSaveLives.

To continue our exploration of the world of radical heroes that PHM brings to life, the team has curated a selection of fun activities and learning opportunities that can be enjoyed online.  Ideas Worth Exploring is a digital doorway through to our events programme and learning projects and includes some PHM favourites that have been taken online for the first time, digital learning resources and brand new initiatives.  There are ideas for those with little ones to entertain, ways to add creativity to home schooling and inspirational home learning for adults all brought to you by the PHM team and the freelance artists that we work with.

Alongside this we are continuing to look at new ways of approaching the museum’s headline theme for 2020; migration.  This is being co-created with a Community Programme Team that is made up of people whose lives have been shaped by migration experiences.  Some of this activity will be delivered online and some will take place at the museum when it is able to re-open.

We will continue to share updates and hope that you will continue to stay in touch; look out for news on this website, sign up to our regular e-newsletter, subscribe to our blog, and find us on Twitter @PHMMcr Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.  In these difficult and challenging times for all, our work has never felt more relevant, so if you are able to add your support it would be greatly appreciated.  We look forward to welcoming you to the home of ideas worth fighting for when we are able to open to the public again.

31 March 2020

We are all having to do things very differently at the moment, as everyone seeks to minimise and overcome the impact that coronavirus (Covid-19) is having across the globe. The museum is joined in solidarity behind the message #StayHomeSaveLives.

People’s History Museum has been closed since Thursday 19 March 2020 and the team are now working remotely, exploring new ways of inspiring people with the stories of ideas worth fighting for.

This includes rethinking and reshaping our approach to the museum’s headline theme of migration for 2020, which is being co-created with a Community Programme Team made up of people whose lives have been shaped by migration, and features many community-led projects and exhibitions.

We are certain the challenge of continuing to deliver a programme of activity will bring creative solutions and we are currently exploring alternative ways as a team and with our freelance artists of shining a light on stories of migration, sharing ideas and engaging in conversations.

Please do keep in touch and support us how you can; look out for news and updates on our websitesign up to our e-newslettersubscribe to our blog, share on social media, make a donation if you can, and visit us when we’re back open again.

19 March 2020

People’s History Museum in Manchester has, like other museums and organisations across the country, closed for a period of time following the UK government’s announcement of measures to try and combat the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19).

This is an unprecedented situation for all, and we will continue to follow government and Public Health England instructions and do everything that we can to assist in the interests of staff, visitors and the wider public.

We will keep in touch via social media channels and this website as to when we will re-open, and we hope to welcome you all again soon.

27 January 2020

People’s History Museum (PHM), the national museum of democracy, has been following the story of Brexit as it has evolved.

In 2016 the museum unveiled an interactive installation The Euro Tunnel, which aimed to engage people with the referendum and encouraged them to use their vote.  PHM has been actively collecting Brexit material from the leave and remain campaigns, both before and since the referendum, for the museum’s object and archive collections.  This has included the acquisition of the Jo Cox Memorial Wall, which will go on display in summer 2020 as part of a wider community project entitled More in Common.  And this year within its headline theme of migration, PHM will reflect on life for migrants living in post-Brexit Britain.  All material in PHM’s collection is available for research and will be used to inform and inspire future programmes.

19 September 2019

On Friday 20 September 2019 People’s History Museum, the national museum of democracy, is joining the Global Climate Strike by carrying out an #ArtStrike.

Exhibits in the Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest exhibition will go on strike for the day in support of those demanding action to prevent further global warming and climate change, sharing the message ‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’.  The #ArtStrike initiative is led by the UK Student Climate Network.

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest tells of those protesting for rights and representation 200 years ago.  The exhibition has been chosen as the focus for the #ArtStrike so that People’s History Museum can stand in solidarity with a campaign that is seeking to secure significant change for a common cause in today’s world.

Alongside the historical artefacts featured in Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest sits the very contemporary Protest Lab; conceived as a space for individuals and community groups to create and share details of current campaigns.

13 March 2019

After two years of negotiations between Britain and the EU, Brexit is scheduled to take place on 29 March 2019 and as yet, there is no agreement in place. The Museums Association has warned of the “highly damaging impact on: the communities that museums serve; the people who work in and with museums, and the sharing of collections, ideas and expertise across European borders”, particularly in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. In planning our programmes for the years ahead and in our work as the ‘go to’ place for democratic engagement, People’s History Museum (PHM) must echo these warnings.

People’s History Museum is the national museum of democracy, and we have deep concerns about the impact of leaving the EU on our work as a cultural organisation, on the nation’s vibrant democratic engagement, and at this time of division, on the negative effects there could be on cohesion amongst communities.

These are defining times for our nation, which in years to come will be reflected through PHM’s archives, collections and programming as we record and inspire our nation’s democratic journey through history.

In the coming weeks we urge the nation’s elected officials to reach a resolution that brings the best possible outcome for all.

3 July 2019

People’s History Museum supports the ongoing fight for equality through our work with the community and activists campaigning for disabled people’s rights.

Peterloo represents the shared history of all, so in the year of the 200th anniversary of this milestone it is important that every aspect of the way it is marked is inclusive and accessible to all.

We hope that through peaceful protest and discussion, the voices of the disabled community are heard and that the Peterloo Memorial is representative for all.

14 June 2019

People’s History Museum (PHM) recognises the climate crisis as defining issues of the present day.  PHM’s commitment to environmental care, responsibility and action continues through all streams of our work.  PHM is a member of the Happy Museum Project, committed to being active stewards of people, place and planet.  We have joined the Culture Declares Emergency campaign and are passionately committed at all levels of the organisation to embedding sustainable practices into the museum’s day to day operations.  The museum places audience engagement at the heart of its sustainability approach; we believe the greatest impact we can have in addressing the climate emergency is to engage audiences to inspire action, whilst also working towards our own target of becoming a zero carbon museum by 2038.

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