People's History Museum
|People's History Museum|
The People's History Museum
|Location||Manchester, United Kingdom|
The People's History Museum (formerly the National Museum of Labour History until 2001) in Manchester, England, is the United Kingdom's national centre for the collection, conservation, interpretation and study of material relating to the history of working people in the UK. It is located in a Grade II listed, former hydraulic pumping station on the corner of the Bridge Street and Water Street designed by Manchester Corporation City Architect Henry Price.
The museum tells the story of the history of democracy in Britain and about ordinary people's lives at home, work and leisure over the last 200 years. It contains a collection of printed material, physical objects and photographs which celebrate the lives of ordinary people at work, rest and play. Some of the topics covered include popular radicalism, the Peterloo Massacre, 19th century trade unionism, the women's suffrage movement, dockers, the Co-op Retail movement, the 1945 general election and football.
It also houses an important archive of material relating to the history of working people in Britain. Its collections include papers and documents created by the Labour Party, the former Communist Party of Great Britain, the co-operative movement and the Department for Work and Pensions.
The Trade Union, Labour and Co-operative History Society operated a collection at Limehouse Town Hall between 1975 and 1986, with the bulk of the collections in storage. The museum moved to Manchester and re-opened in 1990 at the Grade II* listed former Mechanics' Institute at 103 Princess Street.
In 1994, the museum opened the Pump House People's History Museum containing a public gallery at the present site on Bridge Street. The two sites were both rebranded as the "People's History Museum" in 2001. The Bridge Street site closed for a £12.5m redevelopment in October 2007. The redevelopment included the refurbishment of the existing Pump House and the construction of a four storey extension alongside it. A glass walk way was constructed to link the two buildings. The museum reopened on 13 February 2010.
The new building houses the museum galleries, changing exhibitions, education service, Labour History Archive and Study Centre (formerly at 103 Princess Street), Textile Conservation Studio, corporate facilities, café and shop. The new People’s History Museum has more coherent museum galleries designed to display the collection with improved interactive exhibits and interpretation.
A larger changing exhibition gallery allows more of the museum’s own collections to be seen, as well as topical national touring exhibitions. A dedicated community gallery provides local people with a space to display their own work while the integration of the Labour History Archive and Textile Conservation Studio allows visitors to see the museum’s work.
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