The spread of viruses, microbiology, local history, archives and zombies… Just another day in Archives+. On Wednesday Professor Joanna Verran and Matthew Crossley from Manchester Metropolitan University presented an interactive lecture incorporating all of these themes to a group of students and zombie aficionados.

Zombies in the Archives 22/10/2014

To add to the atmosphere make up artists from Stockport college transformed a group of volunteers (some more willing than others) into victims of unfortunate diseases.

Zombies in the Archives 22/10/2014 Zombies in the Archives 22/10/2014

You might wonder how this ties in with archives…. Well, Victorian Manchester, or Cottonopolis as it was known at the time, was overcrowded with poor sanitation and we have plenty of archives to show how the spread of disease was rife in the city, including sanitation reports, cholera maps and much more. Some of these are included in our exhibition and others were on display for the day.

Sketch of back to back houses (GB124.M126/5/1/17)

Professor Verran also talked about how to prevent the spread of infection, including innoculisation and quarantine. The principles of quarantining people who have or are suspected of having infectious diseases are similar to how we protect our archives from the spread of mould and insect infestations.

More pictures of the event are available on our Flickr page. If you’d like to know more about Professor Verran visit her MMU web page.

If you’re interested in the science of archives, our Conservation Officer will be holding a drop in session on Wednesday the 29th of October as part of our Manchester Science Festival Event Science@Central.