As I head towards the end of the third week of my Transforming Archives traineeship at Archives+ I thought I’d introduce myself and tell you about some of the great stuff that is available to view here. I went to university in Manchester at MMU studying History before drifting through a variety of jobs including working in a library and as a teaching assistant for SEN children. When I saw the opportunity to apply for this traineeship I jumped at the chance to use my passion for history in a more direct way and of course to move back to sunny Manchester!

My traineeship is in digitisation and outreach and engagement and over the past three weeks I have learnt loads about these different aspects at both Archives+ and Wigan Archives and Local Studies splitting my week between the two sites. I have particularly enjoyed digitising some old Palace Theatre programmes for an exciting upcoming exhibition with young people from MaD Theatre group.

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Palace Theatre Programme from the 20th July 1903

One of the best things about working at Archives+ is being able to interact with the exhibition which is opposite the main entrance to Central Library as it is a great way for people to find out more about archives and how they can use them. It is an amazing space and I really recommend coming along to Central Library and having a walk around the exhibition when you next get a chance as you will learn so much about Manchester’s history.

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The Archives+ Exhibition

My favourite part of the exhibition is the Radical Thinking section as it is home to some brilliant material relating to a number of my historical heroes including Henry Hunt and Lydia Becker. At the moment the display includes Henry Hunt’s prison diary which is an amazing item to view if you have an interest in the Peterloo Massacre and it’s aftermath. Anyone who is planning a visit to the great People’s History Museum should make a stop at Archives+ and learn more about the radical thinkers that have shaped Manchester’s history.

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The Radical Thinking Exhibition

I’ve really enjoyed my traineeship so far and can’t wait to learn more about archives over the next year. I’m especially looking forward to visiting the National Archives at Kew next month for a weeks training with all my fellow Transforming Archive trainees.

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