Off the Shelf: Books & their borrowers in 1850
Apr
5
to Jun 24

Off the Shelf: Books & their borrowers in 1850

Today, The Portico Library’s books sit on the same shelves as they did in 1850, providing a snap-shot of the borrowing and reading habits of Manchester’s Victorian residents. The Library retains detailed records of who borrowed what when, providing an intimate glimpse into their passions and predilections. In this exhibition, we present the original volumes that were borrowed, including Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Ruskin’s Modern Painters, with further information about the readers.

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Apr
29
12:00 PM12:00

Closure for the AGM of The Portico Library Trust, Mon 29 April 2019, 12 - 2pm

The Library’s public access will be interrupted for two hours (between 12 - 2pm) on Monday the 29th of April 2019 because the annual general meeting of The Portico Library Trust will be in session. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. The Library will still be accessible for registered members, readers and researchers.

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Bookbinding: Concertina Style!
Apr
30
10:15 AM10:15

Bookbinding: Concertina Style!

In this one day workshop you will work with an experienced local bookbinder, Barry Clark, to create four books: two simple no sew / no glue booklets, and two more substantial books, all in the concertina or accordion style. It’s a very versatile structure favoured by many book artists. All materials and tools will be provided. We will be using glue so please bring a protective apron. The fee includes the cost of materials, tea/coffee on arrival and a light lunch. This workshop is limited to 12 participants so early booking is advised.

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Carcanet International Poets at The Portico Library featuring Sheri Benning
May
2
6:30 PM18:30

Carcanet International Poets at The Portico Library featuring Sheri Benning

Sheri Benning’s most recent collection of poems, The Season’s Vagrant Light: New and Selected Poems, is published by Carcanet Press. This book marks the UK début of Canadian poet Sheri Benning, featuring new poems alongside work previously published in Canada. Benning’s early work draws on her strongly felt connection to her native landscape, rural Saskatchewan. In poems that couple sinew and roots, blood and sap, skin and stone, Benning explores an ecology of affiliation between humans and the natural world.

This event will also feature appearances by Christine Marendon and Jenny Lewis. Please follow the booking link for more information. Book signing will take place after the event and drinks will be on sale.

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The Never-Read-a-Gaskell Group
May
15
5:30 PM17:30

The Never-Read-a-Gaskell Group

This event is SOLD OUT but we are taking names for a waiting list.

If you’ve been nodding along politely to discussions about Elizabeth Gaskell but had no idea what was going on, then this group is for you! An introductory event will give you an opportunity to meet the rest of the group, learn about the author’s life and view The Portico’s first editions of Gaskell’s works. Then, three novels have been carefully selected for you to read throughout the year and each one will be discussed at a meeting in The Portico Library hosted by Libby Tempest, literary enthusiast and Chair of the Gaskell Society. You will find Libby’s incredibly warm manner and passion for Gaskell totally infectious. Click on the event link for more information.

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Carcanet International Poets at The Portico Library featuring Chris Wallace-Crabbe
May
16
6:30 PM18:30

Carcanet International Poets at The Portico Library featuring Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Chris Wallace-Crabbe is a leading Australian poet and essayist, with a special interest in the visual arts. Rondo harvests a decade’s worth of new writing by one of Australia’s foremost poets. It is currently shortlisted for the 2019 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry in the NSW Premier's Literature Awards. This new collection paints a vivid portrait of eucalypt Australia’s current position in an rapidly changing world. The poet asks for fresh meanings from Gallipoli and Scotland, from physics and from ‘Art’s porous auditorium’, where poetry can still be heard. ‘The words are only the words,’ he writes, ‘which is more or less everything.’

This event also features Marius Kociejowski and Carola Luther. Please follow the booking link for more information. A book signing will take place after the event and drinks will be on sale.

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Tales of Manchester’s Graveyards
May
28
6:30 PM18:30

Tales of Manchester’s Graveyards

In this talk we will delve into the subject of Manchester’s numerous burial sites. Many morbid and bizarre stories emerge as soon as you start digging! Manchester’s body snatchers or ‘resurrectionists’ turned a trade providing corpses to anatomy schools, sometimes relying on criminal methods when legal supply fell short of demand. Other stories tell of a headless corpse and the Manchester mummy! Steve Little is an historian, local explorer and member of The Portico, who will exhume some of these forgotten stories.

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Mike Harding: Cosmos Mariner
Jun
6
6:30 PM18:30

Mike Harding: Cosmos Mariner

Mike Harding returns to The Portico Library to share his new poetry collection, Cosmos Mariner. In these poems, Mike draws on his own life-story and engages the reader and listener alike with his own inimitable talent. Join us for an evening of drinks, poetry and story-telling and be some of the first to hear these poems read in the author’s own voice.

Book online

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The Familiars By Stacey Halls
Jul
1
6:30 PM18:30

The Familiars By Stacey Halls

Stacey Halls grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire, as the daughter of market traders. She has always been fascinated by the Pendle witches. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and moved to London aged 21. The Familiars is her first novel which has been published to much acclaim.

Halls' key interests include women and power and the social history of witches. Her novel is informed by extensive research and she speaks with authority on Gawthorpe Manor and her real life heroine, Fleetwood Shuttleworth. Come and hear Halls speak about her research and read from her debut novel at this event and book signing. Drinks and copies of Stacey's book will be on sale.

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Alan Turing's Manchester
Apr
15
6:30 PM18:30

Alan Turing's Manchester

The mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing is more widely known and admired today than he ever was during his lifetime. In February 2019 BBC viewers voted him the most important person of the 20th century; he was certainly a man who changed the world. Today, his iconography greets Mancunians in Sackville Park Gardens, across the University campus and on the way to the Manchester Velodrome. Even The Portico played a small part in his story.

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Fancy Pants Fancy Party
Mar
22
7:00 PM19:00

Fancy Pants Fancy Party

In 1836 newspapers across Britain reported a “Grand Fancy Ball” held at The Portico Library. Now all you fancy people are invited to create and wear your own wild and wonderful costumes to the closing party of the Portico’s current exhibition Fancy Pants. There will be a dance performance in exhibitor Ruby Kirby’s wearable artworks and a prize for the best dressed guest will be judged and presented by the artists. Drinks will be on sale, with proceeds contributing to the Library’s charitable programme.

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Audio-described Exhibition Tour: FANCY PANTS
Mar
18
5:00 PM17:00

Audio-described Exhibition Tour: FANCY PANTS

Anne Hornsby of Mind's Eye Description Services will deliver an audio-described tour for blind and partially sighted visitors. She will introduce the building and collection, and Fancy Pants, an exhibition that explores dress and costume’s historic and contemporary relationships with ritual, play, morality and resistance. Please note that the library is accessed via a staircase. There is no lift but a stair lift is available via the rear entrance.

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A Crafternoon of Wearable Art with Ruby Kirby
Mar
16
12:00 PM12:00

A Crafternoon of Wearable Art with Ruby Kirby

Come and create exciting wearable art pieces using your pre-loved items. Artist Ruby Kirby will help you to re-invent them into new wild creations using a variety of other recycled odds and ends. The more bonkers the better! This event accompanies The Portico’s latest exhibition Fancy Pants looking at dress and costume’s historic and contemporary relationships with ritual, play, morality and resistance.

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Kate Fox Presents: Where There’s Muck There’s Bras
Mar
14
7:00 PM19:00

Kate Fox Presents: Where There’s Muck There’s Bras

March 14, 2019, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Performed by stand-up poet and Radio 4 regular Kate Fox; a comic and thought-provoking show about the real Northern Powerhouse, Northern Women – the sung and the unsung!

This funny, gently subversive performance/lecture uncovers the hidden history of the writers, scientists, sportswomen, politicians, protesters, musicians and other heroines who represent the grit, determination and spirit of the North’s women.

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BSL Exhibition Tour: FANCY PANTS
Mar
2
11:30 AM11:30

BSL Exhibition Tour: FANCY PANTS

Jennifer Little will conduct a tour in British Sign Language (with no spoken English). She will introduce The Portico Library’s building and collection, and give insights to the present exhibition, Fancy Pants.

Four visual artists present radical, expressive works that look at dress and costume’s historic and contemporary relationships with ritual, play, morality and resistance. These pieces invite us to think about celebration and wellbeing, mind and body, and the idea of ‘high’ vs ‘low’ culture.

New artworks by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Ruby Kirby, Lindsey Mendick & Camille Smithwick, with books from the library’s collection including Joseph Strutt’s Sports and Pastimes of the People of England and John Northbrooke’s Treatise Against Dicing, Dancing, Plays and Interludes: with Other Idle Pastimes.

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Politics, Power and the People
Feb
22
3:00 PM15:00

Politics, Power and the People

The political and social struggles that surrounded the Peterloo Massacre in 1819 and were nothing new. Those holding power sought to keep it, use it and would, on occasion, abuse it. Their opponents demanded a say in government, in the way their lives were organised, and how they might improve their lot in life by political action.

Peterloo was one tragic episode in that eternal struggle: reflecting a world of political hopes and ideas and it would, consciously or not, shape the political thoughts of generations to come.

Some of these ideas are the themes of a series of talks focusing on Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes and John Stewart Mill.

The format is a 1 hour lecture followed by tea, cake and casual discussion.

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Seventeen Artists*
Feb
2
10:00 AM10:00

Seventeen Artists*

*who just happen to be women!

This series is back due to popular demand.

This series will present seventeen artistic personalities, selecting some examples from different centuries: we will look at their lives and their art, put them into context, and as a result of the analysis of their biographies, we will acknowledge how their identity as female artists affected their careers, their work and their role for the following generations. These four sessions can be joined as stand-alone events or attended as a course to receive the full benefit of Sara’s inspiring teaching style. These sessions are perfect for anyone who wishes to strengthen their knowledge of the History of Art.

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Fancy Pants
Feb
1
to Mar 25

Fancy Pants

February 1 – March 25, 2019

Four visual artists present radical, expressive works that look at dress and costume’s historic and contemporary relationships with ritual, play, morality and resistance. These pieces invite us to think about celebration and wellbeing, mind and body, and the idea of ‘high’ vs ‘low’ culture.

New artworks by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Ruby Kirby, Lindsey Mendick & Camille Smithwick, with books from the library’s collection including Joseph Strutt’s Sports and Pastimes of the People of England and John Northbrooke’s Treatise Against Dicing, Dancing, Plays and Interludes: with Other Idle Pastimes.

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Fancy Pants free public exhibition preview
Jan
31
6:00 PM18:00

Fancy Pants free public exhibition preview

6pm - 8pm, Thursday 31st January 2019

Four visual artists present radical, expressive works that look at dress and costume’s historic and contemporary relationships with ritual, play, morality and resistance.

New artworks by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Ruby Kirby, Lindsey Mendick & Camille Smithwick, with books from the library’s collection including Joseph Strutt’s Sports and Pastimes of the People of England and John Northbrooke’s Treatise Against Dicing, Dancing, Plays and Interludes: with Other Idle Pastimes.

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An Introduction to Bookbinding
Jan
17
10:00 AM10:00

An Introduction to Bookbinding

(In partnership with the Society of Bookbinders, North West and North Wales Region)

In this one day workshop you will work with an experienced local bookbinder, Barry Clark, to create three finished books: a sewn pamphlet with a decorative dust-wrapper, a Japanese stab binding, and a multi-section notebook with exposed decorative sewing. These three projects will introduce you to the essentials of all bookbinding: grain direction, folding and cutting paper, creating book sections, setting out sewing stations and different ways of sewing books. All materials and tools will be provided, but feel free to bring your own favourite craft tools if you have them. We will not be using glue so no protective apron is required. The fee includes the cost of materials, tea/coffee on arrival and a light buffet lunch. This workshop is limited to 12 participants so early booking is advised.

Tea/coffee on arrival from 10am for a prompt start at 10.30am

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Adventures in Archiving - Winter Symposium
Jan
16
10:00 AM10:00

Adventures in Archiving - Winter Symposium

In an ever-evolving digital age, institutions with archives are having to reconceptualise how they develop and catalogue their material, and the ways in which they engage with audiences. We are all grappling with questions that concern how archival collections can remain relevant. For example, how can special collections and historic libraries, which traditionally contain and preserve print-based material, adapt most effectively to the changing digital environment? How can we improve and expand methods of resource discovery to meet the expectations of digitally literate users?

This conference, sponsored by Heritage Lottery Fund and the Independent Libraries Association, will explore new developments in the archiving sector and what the future holds for its systems and processes, whilst scrutinising established standards and best practice. If you would like to submit papers for the conference, details are available at https://www.theportico.org.uk/news.

Key Note: Naomi Korn (specialist in GDPR and archives)

Registration: £20 (includes lunch and refreshments) Book now

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On Paper: Triumph & tragedy in the library archives
Dec
7
to Jan 21

On Paper: Triumph & tragedy in the library archives

For the first time in its history, The Portico Library has this year been able to organise and catalogue its archival material digitally, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Ever since the first recorded lease of the Library’s plot in 1792, what consistently shines through is a sense of vivacious storytelling. On Paper considers the parallels between the historical role of printed matter and the Library’s archives. In collaboration with artist Theresa Easton, we have unearthed personal stories of daily life throughout the Library’s history, creating new artworks to interpret our discoveries.

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Manchester: Mapping the City
Dec
5
6:30 PM18:30

Manchester: Mapping the City

Manchester: Mapping the City is new book looking at the history of Manchester using a rich array of more than 100 street maps, land surveys, engineering plans and promotional birds-eye views. It features original maps from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, drawing on local archives and libraries. It also illustrates and discusses the significant events and places that have featured in Manchester’s history, such as Peterloo, the Ship Canal, Town Hall, Belle Vue, Victoria Station and the football grounds.

The authors will deliver a talk on the subject and discuss new ways to access historic cartography. There will be a chance to look at sample of our book and view poster reproductions of some of best historic maps of Manchester. The Portico Library will also display some of its own relevant maps and plans from the archive.

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Nov
23
3:00 PM15:00

Temporary Closure Friday 23 November from 3:00pm

The Library’s public exhibition space will be temporarily closed this afternoon to accommodate the first lecture in our Politics, Power and the People series. The lectures are open to members and non-members and if you would like to attend please visit our what’s on page https://www.theportico.org.uk/events/

The Reading Room will still be open to members. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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Stories of Radical 19th Century Women and Egypt - a talk by Emma Anderson, Director, Macclesfield Museums
Nov
15
6:30 PM18:30

Stories of Radical 19th Century Women and Egypt - a talk by Emma Anderson, Director, Macclesfield Museums

In the second half of the 19th century a group of educated, passionate, complex and multi-faced English women played a leading role in developing the study of Ancient Egypt. These women supported, participated in, and led the excavations and academic research that were bringing the ancient world to life. Many were enabled by the industrial wealth of the North West, which is why the our museums have more Ancient Egyptian artefacts than anywhere else in the United Kingdom outside London.

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The Nature of Cities: Building a Resilient Greater Manchester through Culture & Education
Nov
9
3:00 PM15:00

The Nature of Cities: Building a Resilient Greater Manchester through Culture & Education

Nov 9, 2018, 3:00pm - 5:00pm

The Portico Library and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority welcome you to an event looking at nature, resilience and young people, and how culture can be used to address some of the most pressing problems we face as a city-region.

This event will be a chance for members of the public to engage with academics, practitioners, policy makers and cultural representatives on issues of resilience, ecology and the role of the arts in a changing climate and will be opened by the Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, and the Greater Manchester Chief Resilience Officer, Dr Kathy Oldham.

In addition, two local school groups will present the outcomes of workshops conducted with local artist Oliver East using the power of image and text to explore themes of nature, urban life, and resilience…

Join the waiting list for free tickets here.

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