Spirited
Oct
19
to Nov 2

Spirited

Spirited tells the stories of some of the young women and girls who fought for the vote 100 years ago, centring on Manchester as the birthplace of the suffrage movement. It brings to life their incredible acts of courage, creativity and cunning in order to inspire today’s young people into taking their own first steps into social action.

Some of the young women featured, who fought with such courage for the right to vote, did not qualify to do so when the Representation of the People Act was finally passed in 1918.

Either they were too young – the Act had an age qualification of 30 for women – or else they didn’t meet the property ownership qualification. One, cruelly, died the year after the Act was passed – but three years before she would have been old enough to cast a vote.

Their stories, and the stories of all the brave and bold women and men who demanded their right to be counted, are told here as a provocation to today’s young activists to embrace the opportunities on offer, and to be the change they want to see.

View Event →
SheSays Manchester - putting women in the lead
Oct
22
6:30 PM18:30

SheSays Manchester - putting women in the lead

*SheSays Manchester is a wholly inclusive event with a difference – an open space for discussion where women take the lead. *SheSays Manchester also matches mentors and mentees, creating opportunities for women to lead and inspire other women. Vimla Appadoo will talk about *SheSays Manchester and take questions from the audience at the end.

Book online

View Event →
Helen Pankhurst on Deeds Not Words: reading and Q&A
Oct
23
6:30 PM18:30

Helen Pankhurst on Deeds Not Words: reading and Q&A

Helen Pankhurst is an international development and women's rights activist and writer. Pankhurst is currently CARE International's senior advisor working in the UK and Ethiopia. Pankhurst is the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, who were both leaders in the British suffragette movement. Helen will be reading from her latest book Deeds Not Words, which will be followed by a Q&A.

Book online

View Event →
Suffragettes on film: with thanks to the BFI
Oct
25
2:00 PM14:00

Suffragettes on film: with thanks to the BFI

Bryony Dixon has researched and written on many aspects of early and silent film, and co-directs the annual British Silent Film Festival, as well as programming for a variety of film festivals and events worldwide. Now the BFI’s silent film curator, Bryony oversees its archive of suffragette films, and will discuss how the battle for women’s suffrage in the early years of the 20th century was captured – and carried out – on film.

Book online

View Event →
Clare Debenham on Birth Control and the Rights of Women in the Early 20th Century
Oct
29
6:30 PM18:30

Clare Debenham on Birth Control and the Rights of Women in the Early 20th Century

After the granting of the vote to women in 1918, the struggle for women's rights intensified with a nationwide campaign for the right to birth control. This campaign was met with a great deal of hostility; it threatened to overturn Victorian ideas about female sexuality, female empowerment and the traditional roles within the family. The most well known of the campaigners, scientist and early feminist Marie Stopes, opened clinics across England which fitted 'contraception caps' to women for free. The first history of this grassroots social movement after the Suffragettes offers a window into the social and cultural history of the period, and features new archival material in the forms of memoirs, personal papers and press cuttings. This is an essential contribution to the influential field of women's history and a vital addition to the history of feminism. The lecture focuses on 'Marie Stopes, Reluctant Mancunion , Sexual Revolutionary and Birth Control Pioneer ' as it is the 100th anniversary of the publication of her ground breaking 'Married Love' which was a best-seller. 'Marie Stopes was voted in the top ten of this month's BBC History readers' poll of 'Women Who Changed the World'.

Book online

View Event →
Spirited: Audio Described Exhibition Tour
Oct
30
5:30 PM17:30

Spirited: Audio Described Exhibition Tour

Anne Hornsby of Mind's Eye Description Services will deliver an audio-described tour for blind and partially sighted visitors. She will introduce The Portico Library’s building and collection, and describe the present exhibition Spirited.

Spirited tells the stories of some of the young women and girls who fought for the vote 100 years ago, centring on Manchester as the birthplace of the suffrage movement. It brings to life their incredible acts of courage, creativity and cunning in order to inspire today’s young people into taking their own first steps into social action.

Book online

View Event →
Real Voices. Real Power.
Oct
31
2:00 PM14:00

Real Voices. Real Power.

RECLAIM was set up in Moss Side in 2007, to identify and support young leaders from an intensely pressurised community. It continues its work to help young working class people to develop their skills and potential, and to build their pathway to make the world a better place for all. In this informal event some of RECLAIM’s proud and passionate young working class feminists will talk about their journey into social action.

Book online

View Event →
Letters on Nocturnal Magic
Nov
1
6:30 PM18:30

Letters on Nocturnal Magic

First Draft have commissioned a line up of talented artists to create new performances inspired by the library's mysterious collection of books on the occult. Throughout the evening, they'll take you into a world of witches and necromancers, demons and magicians, and ghostly apparitions bringing warnings from beyond the grave.

Don't miss this special Halloween evening of cabaret at the atmospheric Portico Library - one of Manchester's most beautiful hidden gems.

Book online

View Event →
What can we learn from IC Change?
Nov
2
2:00 PM14:00

What can we learn from IC Change?

IC Change is a volunteer-led campaign that helped change the law on violence against women. The IC Change campaign called on the UK Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention (IC) which sets minimum standards for governments to meet when tackling violence against women, including taking necessary steps to prevent violence, protect women and prosecute perpetrators. They celebrated victory in December 2016 when 135 MPs voted in favour of ratification (although two voted against). We’ll hear from IC Change leaders and get an update on where the campaign is now.

Book online

View Event →
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.

Book online

View Event →
Politics, Power and the People
Nov
23
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 on politics and power.

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

Book online

View Event →
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.

Book online

View Event →
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

View Event →

Wendy Bardsley on Mary Wollstonecraft
Oct
20
2:00 PM14:00

Wendy Bardsley on Mary Wollstonecraft

In her excellent new novel, Wendy Louise Bardsley takes the reader on a journey from Yorkshire to London, Wales, and Paris, as she explores the remarkable life of Mary Wollstonecroft. As a young woman, Mary copes with a bullying father, a subjugated mother, sees young friends die in childbirth and from tuberculosis. And whilst her elder brother Ned follows an unfettered path to a career as a lawyer, Mary is deprived of a formal education. All of these experiences combine to shape Mary’s ideals for the improvement of the lot of women, a subject she pursues passionately throughout her adult life. 

Book online

View Event →
Nimco Ali on the campaign to end FGM worldwide
Oct
19
6:30 PM18:30

Nimco Ali on the campaign to end FGM worldwide

Nimco Ali is a British Somali feminist, writer and social activist. She is co-founder and director of Daughters of Eve, a survivor-led organisation which has helped to transform the approach to ending female genital mutilation (FGM). Nimco will be talking about her current work to ensure Somaliland, where 98% of women and girls are affected, enacts legislation to ban FGM.

Book online

View Event →
Sean O'Brien: Quartier Perdu
Oct
11
6:30 PM18:30

Sean O'Brien: Quartier Perdu

Quartier Perdu is the anticipated new collection from multi-award winning short story writer, poet, playwright and journalist, Sean O'Brien.

O’Brien is perhaps Britain’s most decorated living poet, being the only poet to have won the Forward and TS Elliot prizes three times. New collection brings together stories inspired by terror, science and the supernatural, lit with the hue of the Victorian gothic. Some stories written in direct response to the famous Literature and Philosophy Library in Newcastle, where O’Brien lives and is the Professor of Creative Writing at the university.

Book online

View Event →
Asia Triennial Manchester at The Portico Library. Free tour and introduction to the collection
Oct
10
1:00 PM13:00

Asia Triennial Manchester at The Portico Library. Free tour and introduction to the collection

The Portico Library was established in 1806 and remains in its original purpose-built venue in the heart of Manchester City Centre, still fulfilling its original function and welcoming visitors six days a week for exhibitions, dining and events. Its collection was compiled throughout the colonial period and reflects the complex relationships that developed between Asia and Britain throughout the 19th century. Join Asia Triennial Manchester 2018 artist and former Portico exhibitor Saima Rasheed to learn about the library’s history, collection and current exhibition ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook.

Book online

View Event →
Risa Takita: BIND. Asia Triennial Manchester at The Portico Library.
Oct
6
1:30 PM13:30

Risa Takita: BIND. Asia Triennial Manchester at The Portico Library.

Dancer, artist and curator Risa Takita has developed a new interactive performance through research into the history of Manchester at The Portico Library. Specially commissioned for Asia Triennial Manchester 2018, Risa’s new work raises questions about the meaning of identity, history and culture and draws inspiration and insight from the library’s connections with the wider world over the last three centuries.

Book online

View Event →
BSL Exhibition Tour: ENTWINED
Oct
6
11:30 AM11:30

BSL Exhibition Tour: ENTWINED

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 on the present exhibition, ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook.

August 2018 marks 250 years since Captain James Cook set sail on a voyage of discovery considered by many to be the most significant in world history. Inspired by some of The Portico Library’s most fascinating items – first editions of Cook’s illustrated journals and the accompanying publications – we will select and present items from the collection that expose some of the motivating ideologies and streams of thought behind the encounters of the period.

Book online

Please note that the library is accessed via a staircase. There is no lift but a stair lift is available via the rear entrance.

View Event →
The Victorians & the Reinvention of The Italian Renaissance
Sep
27
6:30 PM18:30

The Victorians & the Reinvention of The Italian Renaissance

From Giotto to Michelangelo, Dante to Petrarch, Florence to Rome, Italy's Renaissance left an indelible mark on the Victorians. Former Portico Librarian, Emma Marigliano, explores how British artists and poets reinterpreted and mythologised Italian culture for the British public.

This event is brought to you by the Dante Alighieri Society in Manchester with delicious Italian nibbles and wine provided after the talk.

Book online

View Event →
Captain Cook's Endeavour
Sep
20
6:30 PM18:30

Captain Cook's Endeavour

This talk is brought to you during The Portico Library's exhibition, ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook. August 2018 marks 250 years since Captain James Cook set sail on a voyage of discovery considered by many to be the most significant in world history. Inspired by some of The Portico Library’s most fascinating items – first editions of Cook’s illustrated journals and the accompanying publications – we will select and present items from the collection that expose some of the motivating ideologies and streams of thought behind the encounters of the period.

Book online

View Event →
Day-long Closure
Sep
5
9:30 AM09:30

Day-long Closure

The Portico Library will be closed to visitors on Wednesday the 5th of September 2018 for staff training. The Library will still be accessible to members, readers and researchers. We apologise for any inconvenience this closure may cause you. The Library will re-open on Thursday the 6th of September at 9:30am.

View Event →
Seventeen Artists*
Sep
1
to Sep 30

Seventeen Artists*

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.

Book online

View Event →
Gin! An Education.
Aug
30
6:30 PM18:30

Gin! An Education.

David Winnard of Discover the Wild will introduce the evening with a brief history of gin and from there he will lead a tasting. With David’s amazing knowledge of foraging and the natural world, he will explain the way that gin is produced and infused with some wonderful flavours. Later on, Theresa Sowerby will perform some poems with her inimitable humour and gusto! Three cocktails are included in the price and some simple and delicious food accompaniments will be provided. There are few more splendid settings in Manchester in which to enjoy a gin tasting!

View Event →
ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook
Aug
23
to Oct 13

ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook

August 2018 marks 250 years since Captain James Cook set sail on a voyage of discovery considered by many to be the most significant in world history. Inspired by some of The Portico Library’s most fascinating items – first editions of Cook’s illustrated journals and the accompanying publications – we will select and present items from the collection that expose some of the motivating ideologies and streams of thought behind the encounters of the period.

This exhibition will take the form of a unique textile installation, accompanied by further treasures from the Library’s collection published during Cook’s lifetime, including Carl Linnaeus’ pioneering natural history volume 'Flora Lapponica', Adam Smith’s master work 'The Wealth of Nations', and Voltaire’s revolutionary satire 'Candide'. This project marks the start of a new ongoing collaboration with members of the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King’s College London.

View Event →
Poetry Event: Finding the Cotton Famine
Jul
31
6:30 PM18:30

Poetry Event: Finding the Cotton Famine

During the Cotton Famine, an outpouring of poetry told of the despair and suffering endured by the people of Lancashire. Academics at the University of Exeter have been working to build an accessible database of these poems and to launch this resource there will be a mixture of recitation and song set in the context of the project and this important history. As well as entertainment, there will also be information provided on how to use the database. Come along to this event in celebration of the database launch to hear the poems and pay tribute to the past.

View Event →
Reading Jane Austen
Jul
26
6:30 PM18:30

Reading Jane Austen

‘“They slowly paced the gradual ascent”: taking time with Jane Austen’s novels.’ This talk will propose that slow reading of key sentences and paragraphs – awarding them the close attention more often invited by poetry – can draw us into the heart of Jane Austen’s writing. Examples will be chosen from Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. Bill Hutchings is an Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Manchester.

View Event →
BiblioTECH: artists' talks & Q&A
Jul
25
6:00 PM18:00

BiblioTECH: artists' talks & Q&A

Join the exhibitors to hear about the background of the works on display and the ideas and processes behind their practices. Refreshments will be available, and the artists will be joined by Allie Johns, Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing & Digital Human Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University. Allie will draw on her accompanying short article ‘A little digital learning is a dangerous thing. Or is it?’

View Event →
The Chanteuse Sings Modiano
Jul
13
6:30 PM18:30

The Chanteuse Sings Modiano

The Chanteuse aka Lucy Hope, has released an album of songs written by eminent French writer, Patrick Modiano (Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014). It is little known that Modiano penned exquisite lyrics for some of the famous yéyé recording artists in the late 60s/early 70s. The Chanteuse will be bringing these songs to a 'salon' at the Portico Library.

View Event →
Sophie Willan: Tales of the Weird, the Wild and the Wonderful
Jul
7
12:00 PM12:00

Sophie Willan: Tales of the Weird, the Wild and the Wonderful

Bolton born Comedian, Sophie Willan, will be reading extracts from her two short stories for children in Tales of The Weird, The Wild and The Wonderful, intermingled with friendly compering and interactive games. Come and enjoy and afternoon of fun and hilarity, perfect for kids and their adults! The book, aimed at 7 - 11 year olds, will be available to purchase, and Sophie will have a pen ready to sign your copy.

Being brought up in care and given the repeated words, ‘Rude, rebellious and defiant’ on social workers’ reports, Sophie has gone on to become one of the UK’s leading ambassadors for Homeless and Care Experienced Young People. In 2015, Sophie created the dynamic multi-platform project, Stories of Care which works with Care-Leavers across the Greater Manchester region. Tales of The Weird, The Wild and The Wonderful is one of the outcomes of this work and it includes stories by the young people involved. The book is entertaining, inspiring and comforting, with its positive, relatable role models and fictional characters. It is also jaw-achingly funny.

View Event →
Closure for children's event, 12 - 2pm Saturday 7 July
Jul
7
12:00 PM12:00

Closure for children's event, 12 - 2pm Saturday 7 July

Tickets are available for Sophie Willan’s event for children. Willan, will be reading extracts from her two short stories for children in Tales of The Weird, The Wild and The Wonderful, intermingled with friendly compering and interactive games. Come and enjoy and afternoon of fun and hilarity, perfect for kids and their adults! The book, aimed at 7 - 11 year olds, will be available to purchase, and Sophie will have a pen ready to sign your copy.

View Event →
BiblioTECH: from bookshelf to big data
Jul
6
to Aug 18

BiblioTECH: from bookshelf to big data

Artists Dan Hays, Jane Lawson and Claire Tindale explore the opportunities and challenges that arise as we adapt to new technological formats for storing and sharing information. Over five centuries ago, Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the mechanical printing press revolutionised access to literature, and with it, all aspects of society - from politics and religion to science and education. The subsequent development of libraries and global publishing made it possible for millions of people to access texts from all over the world and now, new innovations allow us to hold entire libraries in the palm of our hand - and transfer them across continents in seconds.

As digital humans, we find ourselves in a world of virtual bookshelves, navigating a course through a seemingly infinite sea of data. While digitisation projects strive to store as much data as possible in the Cloud, what will be the role of books and libraries? Will they eventually become obsolete, or are there particular benefits they will always retain, and how will we, as digital humans, continue to react and adapt our behaviour?

View Event →