Discover a variety of virtual exhibitions that journey through time and space

As quoted by Carl Sagan (1980), “you have to know the past to understand the present”, an ideology whose importance is especially true in recent times, as whilst life as we know it may be on pause, understanding the “timeline of history and its effects on today’s world and the world of tomorrow” (Adams and Carfagna) has never been more relevant or resonant.

We therefore encourage all to take a trip through time, to discover the development of democracy, view digital demonstrations of the printing press, deep dive into the hidden history of the city and its communities, and much more!

Spinningfields Art Commission

Featuring a series of playful cast iron enamelled sculptures at Hardman Square, a place lived’ by Cumbrian artist Maddi Nicholson, brings to life the stories of the residents, with a particular focus on the role of women within each family, of the original Grove Street terraces that once teemed the site in the 1800’s.

Each of the five pieces is available to view online, accompanied by information on the artist’ research and production process which was years in the making. The art was co-commissioned and produced by Castlefield Gallery and Katie Popperwell, with support from Arts Council England.

Spinningfields, 1800’s

People’s History Museum

The national museum of democracy, the People’s History Museum tells the story of its development in Britain, past, present and future, whose collections and work are underpinned by themes of ideas worth fighting for, including equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.

As stated by Katy Ashton (Director at People’s History Museum), Manchester has always been … [a] hotbed of radical ideas, or progressive movements”, for which recent acquisitions including photographs of the Black Lives Matter protests in Manchester (2020), as taken through the lens of photographer Jake Hardy (suitable for 11+), in addition to ambitious year-long programmes exploring migration with upcoming online workshops including The Fabric of Protest, showcase an expansive record of the country’s fight for freedom.

Take a 3D tour of People’s History Museum’s main galleries and meet the revolutionaries, reformers, workers, voters and citizens who believed in and continue to inspire such change. Plus watch an online conversation and tour of the site, with actor Alfred Enoch and Jenny Mabbott (Head of Collections and Engagement at People’s History Museum) as part of Google Arts and Culture’s Art for Two series. For the full list of online exhibitions click here.

Hospital Laundry Workers, Painted by Cliff Rowe (Date Unknown)

As the museum marks its 10th anniversary an appeal for donations has launched as challenges resulting from the pandemic have placed the museum and its work in a precarious situation. As a sign of solidarity, please pledge your support via Crowdfunder, to help secure the future of the museum.

John Ryland’s Library

A neo-gothic masterpiece housing a world-class collection of rare books and manuscripts, the John Ryland’s Library has introduced a series of #60SecondLibrary tours available to view on Instagram – Highlights, which sheds light on lesser known features including bejewelled book bindings, window panes and electric lighting in addition to the library’s iconic architecture, reading rooms and lantern gallery.