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June 2016

Manchester Histories Festival

(19 June 2016)

Earlier this month colleagues from the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures (SALC) and the John Rylands Library took part in the Manchester Histories Festival which is designed to ‘educate, entertain and inform the city’s inhabitants of its colourful and historically important past’.

Staff from the Faculty were involved in a number of special events this year. One of the Festival’s highlights was Michael Wood, Professor of Public History, who brought the ‘Seven Ages of Manchester’ alive. Michael delivered an illustrated talk that looked through the long history of the city from its beginnings as a Roman settlement, to the birth of the Industrial Revolution, to the new post-Industrial Manchester of today.

On the Festival’s Celebration Day, SALC joined 90 exhibitors from across the city to provide a wide range of activities to entertain, inform, challenge and engage the public. The John Rylands Library also delved into its Guardian archive, one of the Library’s most significant collections, depicting the newspaper’s key place in the city’s history of campaigning for social and political reform.

Other highlights of the Festival included a talk by Dr Charlotte Wildman, Lecturer in Modern British History, examining why Manchester Corporation invested in Manchester Central Library as part of an ambitious programme of redevelopment, and a presentation by Hannah Barker, Professor of British History, on inheritance disputes among trading families in Industrial Revolution Manchester.

To mark the University’s partnership with Manchester Histories Festival, Michael Wood also released a film celebrating the University’s heritage.