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Ideas Worth Exploring

29 April 2020

Join the national museum of democracy for digital discovery

Ideas Worth Exploring at home and on-line © People’s History Museum

Ideas Worth Exploring is a digital door through to People’s History Museum’s (PHM) events programme and learning projects.  It has been curated by the team from the national museum of democracy to ensure that people can still participate and interact with the campaigns for change and stories of radical heroes that PHM represents.  From fun activities for toddlers to home learning for adults there is something to keep everyone inspired!

Ideas Worth Exploring features PHM favourites that have been taken online, digital learning resources and brand new initiatives, all of which can be accessed and experienced remotely until the museum is able to open to the public following the lockdown across the UK that has resulted from Covid-19.

Katy Ashton, Director of People’s History Museum, says, “We are currently reshaping the work that we do and looking at different ways of sharing this, and Ideas Worth Exploring is one of the results of this.  It brings together some of our existing and new resources as one collection making it easier to access and explore People’s History Museum, as well as get involved in some of our interactive activities.  It is designed for those with little ones to entertain, to add creativity to home schooling and to inspire home learning for adults.”

My First Protest Song

Thursday 7 May, Thursday 4 June, Thursday 2 July, and Saturday 1 August 2020 11.00am to 11.40am.  

One of the most popular sessions for babies and tots, and their grown ups, this PHM regular is now being streamed online for all to enjoy. Join singer-songwriter Matt Hill, who, with guitar in hand, invites you to participate in a workshop full of toe tapping tunes from times of change.  Follow PHM on Facebook to find out when and how to take part

Vital Voters

Providing an immersive experience for under 18s that takes them through the past, present and future of democracy, Vital Voters is a brand new digital project created by People’s History Museum.

It is designed to inspire the thinking and imagination of young people, so they can understand the workings and possibilities that democracy presents.  Film making is at the heart of Vital Voters, with all the guidance on making a film from home available, with the best shorts submitted to be added to the campaign gallery.  To find out more visit

PHM’s treasures to explore

People’s History Museum holds the country’s largest collection of material relating to the development of democracy in Britain.  It’s an eclectic and colourful collection that features banners, badges, posters, artwork, cartoons, placards and personal items that invite exploration of the stories of the revolutionaries, reformers, workers, voters and citizens who championed, then and now, for change and rallied for rights and representation.

2020 marks the tenth anniversary of the museum being in its current home, which has prompted the team to pick out ten of their favourite items; these include the 1908 Manchester suffragette banner, a commemorative plate to the Equal Pay Act of 1970 and a placard from the 2019 Youth Climate Strike in Manchester.  Take time out to enjoy reading the stories behind these fascinating objects here:

Object highlights on film

Items of political memorabilia, electoral materials and iconic objects that have earned their place in history all feature within a series of films made by Steven Fielding, Professor of Political History at the University of Nottingham.  Steven examines not just the historical significance of the pieces, but their relevance to today’s world.  Take a look and pick out the items you’d like to see in person when the museum is able to re-open.  You can watch the films here:

Peterloo to the Pankhursts

Starting Monday 4 May

For adult learners who are inspired to take a deeper dive into the evolution of democracy, ‘Peterloo to the Pankhursts: Radicalism and Reform in the 19th Century is an online learning course that looks at the history of radicalism and reform, and the factors that bound events a century apart, in a way that is accessible to all.  The formation of modern democratic ideas is the starting point, and the campaign for votes for women is where the learning journey ends.

The learning experience is brought to life through the examination of original artefacts and documents, the use of specially commissioned illustrations and animations, and the opportunity to watch compelling historical testimony and speeches – some dramatised for the first time.  The sessions are led by expert archivists, curators and historians.

Taking place on the FutureLearn platform Peterloo to the Pankhursts: Radicalism and Reform in the 19th Century takes four weeks, requiring five hours of weekly study and begins on Monday 4 May.  For further information visit:


All of the Ideas Worth Exploring activities can be found here:


People’s History Museum is currently closed due to COVID-19, but you can stay in touch by visiting, signing up to the e-newsletter, subscribing to the blog, or following the museum on social media on Twitter @PHMMcr, Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.



For further information please contact Fido PR: / 0161 832 3588

A selection of images can be found here:

About People’s History Museum (PHM)

People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.  The museum provides opportunities for all people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.  PHM offers a powerful programme with annual themes; 2018 looked at representation and commemorated 100 years since the first women and all men won the right to vote in Britain, in 2019 the focus was on protest to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, the programme for 2020 is on the theme of migration and 2021 will explore disabled people’s rights and activism.  Previous winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

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