Help build PHM’s collection

As the national museum of democracy, PHM collects items of national importance, which tell the story of the development of rights, equality, and democracy in Britain.

'There Is No Planet B' placard (front side), from Schools Strike for Climate, Manchester, 15 February 2019. Image courtesy People's History Museum

Collective Action

PHM is urgently seeking donations to support contemporary collecting against a challenging backdrop for the cultural sector.  We must continue representing, exploring and telling contemporary stories to inspire change for a fairer future.

Donate now and help make history
Black Lives Matter poster, 2015, by Rainbow Noir © People's History Museum

Help build PHM’s collection

The museum actively collects contemporary material relating to current political issues, key campaigns and demonstrations, as well as historical material in line with PHM's collecting policy.

There are still ideas worth fighting for, and we are dedicated to continuing to collect them.  It is vital we collect new and underrepresented items and stories to build and share PHM’s diverse collection, now and for the future.

We are looking for items relating to the following themes to ensure the museum’s collection represents:

  • The black community and their role in British political history, including the history of working people and their fight for equality and change
  • The Black Lives Matter movement and other anti-racism campaigns locally in Greater Manchester and nationally across Britain
  • Brexit
  • Migration, migrant rights and the hostile environment policy
  • Disabled people’s rights and activism
  • Environmental activism


During the Covid-19 pandemic we want to collect items from campaigns around:

  • Migrant health workers and the NHS
  • People with disabilities’ experiences of the pandemic
  • The important role played by all key workers
  • The environmental impact of Covid-19

Have an item you’d like to donate?

Please email with a description and photos (if possible) of the item you’d like to donate.

Please do not send items through the post or deposit them at the museum without speaking to us first, as it means we can’t get the information required to make an informed decision on the offer.

While we appreciate every offer that we receive, we can’t accept everything offered to us; please don’t be disheartened if your item is not accepted, we will try to suggest an alternative repository for your donation where we can.

See the information below on what we do and don’t collect.  Please note this list is not exhaustive, and offers may be declined for other reasons that will be explained following decisions made.

We do collect:

Objects, archives, and artworks relating to the development of democracy in Britain, including items on the following themes:

  • Campaigns, issues and protests
  • Grassroots organisations
  • Political parties
  • Trade unions
  • The Co-operative movement
  • Friendly societies
  • Parliamentary reforms
  • The extension of the vote

We don’t collect:

  • General social or industrial history
  • Local history of Greater Manchester
  • Materials that are hazardous or subject to lawful restrictions e.g. firearms or other dangerous weapons, objects which may contain asbestos
  • Objects that are too large to store or display
  • Material already represented in PHM’s collection
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