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Creating and curating community histories – independent community-led archives and the ‘useable past’

  • Geoffrey Manton Lecture Theatre 4 Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester (map)

Presented by the Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research.

This talk will give an overview of the history of independent community-led history-making institutions, especially but not only those museums libraries and archives associated with working-class movement organisations such as the Working Class Movement Library and the National Museum of Labour History. The paper will discuss the motivations behind the establishment of such bodies, including the use of the past as activist tool in contemporary and future facing community struggles and then chart some of the changes these initiatives have undergone over the years, and finally examine the current growth of independent and community-led heritage activity, often making use of the possibilities offered by new digital  technologies and the web to collect, share and disseminate diverse community heritage and hidden counter-histories.

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