Bringing April Back Part 2: Meghan’s Story

In the second part of this blog about Bringing April Back, we are excited to share another guest post, this time from Meghan Jenkinson. Meghan is a palaeontologist, a NERC Panorama PhD Student at the University of Leeds, and a Visiting Researcher with the North African Research Group at the University of Manchester. Like Matt…

International touring exhibitions: an interview with Nomad

As COP27 draws to an end, it seems fitting to reflect on sustainable working practices in the museum sector. When we reopen to the public on 18 February 2023, visitors will be able to experience the UK premiere of Golden Mummies of Egypt. This stunning exhibition, featuring eight mummies and hundreds of objects, has already…

An Umbrella of the Chinese Labour Corps (中国劳工旅)

In this guest post from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections and Dr Fang Zong, Research Assistant for the Chinese Culture Gallery, share the fascinating story behind an umbrella from the museum’s collection. In this blog, they describe some of the research that has been carried out around the original owner and how, in the…

Bringing April Back Part 1: Matt’s Journey

A great deal of progress has been made with the building work at Manchester Museum and we now have a door on Oxford Road! But on the other side of the building, our temporary entrance has finally been transformed back into a gallery. When we open our doors in February, as you make your way…

Volunteer Recruitment

Manchester Museum is in the final phase of an extraordinary transformation project, hello future. We will reopen our doors to the public on Saturday 18 February 2023. Volunteering is at the heart of our plans for hello future: we will be growing our volunteer team and there will be lots of opportunities to get involved…

Carbon Literacy for Museums: Part 3

In part three of this blog, we share the final selection of objects that museum staff identified as speaking to them about climate change and carbon emissions, as part of the Carbon Literacy for Museums training course. Gillian Smithson, Registrar – Shell I chose this shell in relation to climate change largely to remind us…

Carbon Literacy for Museums: Part 2

In part two of this blog, we share a selection of the objects that speak to museum staff about climate change and carbon emissions, identified as part of the Carbon Literacy for Museums training course. Anna Bunney, Engagement Manager – Corn For me, the maize/corn represents learning; listening, and giving voice to Indigenous communities, as…

Carbon Literacy for Museums: Part 1

Back in June, Alison Criddle (Museum Carbon Literacy Officer, MDNW) and Hannah Hartley, our Environmental Action Manager, delivered the first module of the Carbon Literacy for Museums training programme for museum staff. In preparation, we’d all been asked to “identify an object that speaks to you about climate change or carbon emissions”. In part 1…

Inclusion Consultant

We have a long history of working with individuals and groups to ensure our programmes and facilities are accessible to all and to develop programmes and offers that respond to the needs of our visitors. We are proud of the work we’ve done so far but know that there’s still more to do. That’s why…

Green Bees!

This guest post from Ellie Chambers, Secondary and Post-16 Coordinator: Science, describes a city-wide climate change programme that sets out to inspire and support education settings across Manchester to bring about change. In what follows Ellie shares some of the different thoughts and responses from students, as they spent time imagining the future they want…

Kids in Museums Takeover Day: Wellbeing and Care

This blog celebrates the ninth annual Kids in Museums Digital Takeover day, this year exploring the role heritage spaces can play in supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Working on the Our Shared Cultural Heritage (OSCH) project both as a collective member and a Cultural Learning and Participation Officer (CLPO) Apprentice, Hawwa Alam shares…

Grey on Green part 1: older people shaping a sustainable future

This guest post from María José Ramos Acevedo, Visitor Team Assistant and Culture Champions Volunteer Assistant, introduces the fantastic project, Grey on Green: older people shaping a sustainable future. In this post, the first in a series of blogs about the project, María José focuses on the initial workshop during which key topics emerged, based…

A time to say thanks!

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration (1-7 June) for the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. https://volunteersweek.org/ Despite being a much smaller team while the museum remains closed, our volunteers still managed to contribute over 2,500 hours to the museum this year; variously supporting the vivarium, conservation and shop teams. In…

Volunteer Tour: some thoughts from Sarah

Last week Kate Glynn, our Volunteer Coordinator, arranged a tour of the new museum spaces for our volunteers. Led by our Director, Esme Ward, this was a chance to hear how the new spaces and facilities will work alongside the existing galleries, and an opportunity to catch up and ask questions about the hello future…

Creativity and Wellbeing

To celebrate Creativity and Wellbeing Week (16 to 22 May) and as part of a series of blogs about To Have and To Heal, we are delighted to share this guest post from Julia Thorne. In this blog, Julia reflects on her involvement in the To Have and To Heal project as a photographer and…

Reconnecting with Collections

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week this guest post from Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and Sudan, offers some personal reflections of getting the collections ready for the ‘To Have and To Heal’ project. To Have and To Heal is a unique arts and wellbeing programme, supporting Covid recovery and resilience using Manchester Museum’s world…

Hatch Placements

Throughout March and April Manchester Museum has been hosting our first two Hatch placements, Jessica Atkinson and Matthew Hanvey. Hatch is a partnership between UK Youth and KFC, delivering a skills-building and work readiness programme for local 16 to 25 year olds. Manchester Museum will be supporting up to 8 young people in total over…

Collector Badge

As part of a series of posts about Manchester Museum’s work to support Scout Groups and Guide Units, Mattie Davies (they/them), our Inflatable Museum Support Assistant, shares some updates on a new session for Scout Groups exploring collections and collecting. One of my favourite recurring badges as a Cub Scout in the early 00s was…

Chengyu

To mark Chinese Language Day this blog from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections and Dr Fang Zong, Research Assistant for the Chinese Culture Gallery, shines a spotlight on some of the Chengyu from Manchester Museum’s collection. The museum has a wonderful little group of chengyu deposited in the 1950s by Prof William Hare Newell (1922-2013),…

Introducing our new Environmental Action Manager

You may recall a post back in November about the new Environmental Action Manager role at Manchester Museum. The role is partly funded by the Roots and Branches project; a unique collaboration between The Carbon Literacy Project, Museum Development North West and Manchester Museum, and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts…

Wild Ramblings 1

This ‘Wild Rambling’ from Hannah-Lee Chalk (Learning Manager) is the first in a series of posts from the Wild Team, sharing personal reflections about the process of developing the forthcoming Wild exhibition at Manchester Museum. Early last March, a group of colleagues met to start planning an exhibition about rewilding. Since then myself, David Gelsthorpe…

Santa Fe, Panama to M139PL

This guest post from Andrew Gray, our Curator of Herpetology, offers an update on the new display being constructed in the Vivarium. Andrew also shares the news he recently received from colleagues in Panama that reinforces the importance of the conservation work that goes on behind the scenes. People know how much I care about…

Introducing Wild!

Manchester Museum’s new Exhibition Hall will be opening next year, but how do we use this huge space to build understanding between cultures and a sustainable world? And how do we do this in a way that is relevant, inspiring and interesting for our visitors? This guest post from Manchester Museum’s Wild Team (see below!)…

BioDiscovery – British Science Week

It’s British Science Week, the British Science Association’s annual ten-day celebration of all things STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths): “British Science Week provides a platform to stimulate and support teachers, STEM professionals, science communicators and the general public to produce and participate in STEM events and activities” https://www.britishscienceweek.org/about-us/ For the third year in a…

Wu Zetian, part 2: Her-story

“International Women’s Day is an occasion to celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment but also to critically reflect on those accomplishments and strive for a greater momentum towards gender equality worldwide. It is a day to recognize the extraordinary acts of women and to stand together, as a united force,…

Wu Zetian, China’s One and Only Female Emperor

This post is the first part of a blog about Wu Zetian, China’s one and only female emperor; part two will follow on 8th March to celebrate International Women’s Day. Historically, great female leaders have been relatively rare: Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, and Catherine the Great may be familiar names but since the inheritance of…

Manchester Museum Announces Reopening Date

We’re in the final phase of our extraordinary transformation project, called hello future, and we have announced today that we will open our doors to the public in February 2023. We had hoped to open at the end of 2022, however the pandemic has led to a short delay. The making of a new museum…

Dab Hands: That’ll need stitching

This guest post comes from Lucy Burscough, award-winning Artist and Arts for Health practitioner who, thanks to support from Arts Council England, is Manchester Museum’s Artist in Residence. Lucy is best known for her ‘portraiture for health’ projects, having won awards from the Royal Society for Public Health and the Manchester Culture Awards, and having…

A never ending circle

If you ever find yourself in the basement of Manchester Museum you may at some point come across a sign. The sign is in fact an old text panel from an exhibition, but if you look closely you may see that it has been annotated. The sign is located outside of the Museum’s Workshop where…

Kernels of Wisdom

In this guest post Jennie Aspinall, our new Learning Programme Assistant, describes the Indigenous Gardening workshops that were delivered for local Year 5 pupils at the end of last year. While museum collections are a central feature of our school outreach programmes, what made this project unique was the involvement of our Curator of Indigenous…

Peace Apples on Silent Night

In the final blog of 2021, Fang Zong, Chinese Culture Gallery Project Assistant, shares her insights about the increasingly popular Chinese tradition of giving apples on Christmas Eve. An earlier version of this post originally featured in the Museum’s 2020 Advent Calendar. Manchester Museum’s collections include plenty of apples. As well as the Botany collection…

Stan’s Secret Santa

Last week Manchester Museum temporarily opened its doors, for one day only, for ‘Stan’s Secret Santa’. Led by Karen Brackenridge, our Cultural Health and Wellbeing Assistant, along with numerous colleagues and partners, the day was a chance to gather gifts and donations for distribution by our various Greater Manchester homelessness and poverty support organisation partners….

Art Enthusiasts Badge Progress

Our Inflatable Museum Support Assistant, Mattie Davies (they/them), shares progress on developing a new session for Scout Groups and Guide Units, exploring artists’ works at Manchester Museum and applying their creativity. This is part of a series of blogs about Manchester Museum’s offer for Scout Groups and Guide Units. To find out more, see our…

Bangladeshi Diaspora Leaders Programme

In this guest post Baz Rashid, our Secondary and Post-16 Science Coordinator, reflects on some of the ideas, contacts and skills he gained through the Bangladeshi Diaspora Leaders Programme. Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it. Rabindranath Tagore In October I attended a three day Bangladeshi…

Environmental Action Manager

Targets alone will do nothing to address the ecological and climate crisis and if, after COP26, you are feeling that now is the time for actoin, then read on… As part of the Roots and Branches project Manchester Museum and the Carbon Literacy Project are recruiting a new Environmental Action Manager who will oversee a…

Twin Cities

This guest post from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections and Fang Zong, Chinese Culture Gallery Project Assistant, reflects on the relationship between Manchester and Wuhan. You may or may not be aware that Wuhan is twinned with Manchester and as Bryan and Fang describe, the relationship has been particularly beneficial in light of the…

Laying Roots and Branching Out (an update on Roots and Branches)

Back in June, Manchester Museum, along with Museum Development North West (MDNW) and The Carbon Literacy Project (CLP), were awarded £136,750 of Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant funding for an ambitious two-year partnership project, Roots & Branches, that aims to accelerate the museum sector’s ability to respond to the climate crisis. In this…

The Imprisoned Alchemist: Escape Rooms and Game Based Learning

Back in the summer, Javier García Oliva, Professor of Law (University of Manchester) and Helen Hall, Associate Professor (Nottingham Trent University) contacted us about their ongoing work using the ‘escape room’ format as a tool for learning. We were naturally intrigued, and in the first instance, we offered the Museum as a venue for their…

Encountering the phoenix (and other things)

In this guest blog, Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, Naomi Kashiwagi, Student Engagement Coordinator, and Fang Zong, Chinese Culture Gallery Project Assistant, provide an update on the consultation work for the Chinese Culture Gallery. Having previously connected with a group of Chinese students online, in this post we hear about a workshop that took…

A British Guianese Woman in Manchester

To mark Black History Month, this blog from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, shares the story of a Black woman, Miss Dora Obermuller, who came to live in Manchester from British Guiana during the 1930s. The story began when a member of the public, Mr Leonard Womack, contacted Manchester Museum to ask about some…

Feeling Peckish?

This post from Amy McDowall (Primary Learning Co-ordinator) and Mattie Davies (Inflatable Museum Programme Assistant), is particularly relevant this week. With the University of Manchester awarding Marcus Rashford an honorary degree in recognition for his charity work and well-publicised campaign against child poverty off the field (as well as his sporting skills on the pitch!),…

A Story of Storied Translation

International Translation Day takes place annually on 30 September and, since 2005, has served as: “an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security”. To mark International Translation Day 2021,…

Mooncakes and Rabbits: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival

Today, Tuesday 21st September, is the Mid-Autumn Festival in China which, along with Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, and Qing Ming Festival, is one of the most important festivals in the Chinese calendar. In this post, Bryan Sitch and Fang Zong describe some of the stories associated with this festival, also known as the…

Help us shape the future of learning

Manchester Museum has an exciting career opportunity and invites applications for the post of Learning Programme Assistant – Outreach and Museum, providing full time employment for the next two years, throughout the final year of our hello future redevelopment and into the first year of reopening. The Learning Programme Assistant will play a key role…

Travelling Stories

Back in late 2018 Buxton Museum and Art Gallery invited expressions of interest from museums and galleries wishing to acquire objects from a large miscellaneous educational collection from the former Derbyshire and Derby Schools Library Service. The opportunity to acquire Chinese objects from this collection was of considerable interest to us at Manchester Museum as,…

The journey continues…

We’re getting there! Since the building work started in November 2019, we’ve come a long way – our beautiful two-storey extension is almost finished, creating a new Exhibition Hall and South Asia Gallery which will be the first ever permanent exhibition space in the UK dedicated to the stories and experiences of South Asian communities….

Chinese Valentine’s Day, The Double Seventh Festival

To mark Chinese Valentine’s Day Bryan Sitch, our Depty Head of Collections, and Fang Zong, Chinese Gallery Project Assistant, have teamed up to share the fascinating story behind the celebration and explain why it is also known as the Magpie Festival. Magpies have lots of superstition attached to them and they often get something of…

Rethinking the ‘Speaker Series’: Indigenising Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum’s Indigenise Speaker Series launched on July 22nd, 2021 with Dr Paulette Steeves as our opening speaker. This blog post from Alexandra P. Alberda, our Curator of Indigenous Perspectives, shares how we have designed this Speaker Series to empower and inform future programmes and work. On August 9th, to mark the UN’s International Day…

Carbon Ruins Manchester

In a Museum for the Future, what object would you include to show how society has changed to reach zero carbon? What is the story behind that object? When Manchester Museum reopens in 2023 we will create this exhibition, showing what a future museum would display. We are calling for every school in Manchester to…