Take part in ‘A History of Lancashire in 70 Objects’

Next year marks 70 years since the publication of the first Lancashire Life magazine. To celebrate this anniversary, museums, galleries and heritage venues across Lancashire have been invited to participate in a special project called A History of Lancashire in 70 Objects.  We want you to help us to select one object from our collections that tells something of Lancashire’s long and fascinating story. You can read more about our shortlisted objects below. From all the stories and objects submitted, the final list of 70 objects will be revealed in Lancashire Life next year.
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Our day ‘Unpacking the Library’

On the 23rd September, a group of librarians, researchers and artists met in the art deco surroundings of the Tetley in Leeds to discuss issues and current ideas around the collection of, and access to, artists’ books within the library setting. In this post Jane Pendlebury and Jeremy Parrett share their thoughts about the symposium and how the issues raised relate to the artists’ books collection at Manchester Met University.

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See us at MAKE:SHIFT

Mycelium Bowl #2 - Oyster (The Growing Lab) by Officina Corpuscoli, 2015. Photograph © Officina Corpuscoli

Mycelium Bowl #2 – Oyster (The Growing Lab) by Officina Corpuscoli, 2015. Photograph © Officina Corpuscoli

We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be participating in this year’s MAKE:SHIFT conference at the Museum of Science and Industry in November. The conference is organised by the Crafts Council and explores the importance of craft and innovation to the future of making. This year’s themes are: social innovation, sustainability and healthcare and well-being. The practices presented will include robotics, smart materials, bio design, and connected wearables alongside more traditional craft disciplines.

We will be running handling sessions on Thursday 10 November with objects selected from our Design and Process Innovation collection, including a mycellium bowl designed by Maurizio Montalti who will be speaking at the conference.

For more information visit  MAKE:SHIFT

We Need Your Zines!

Can you help us to develop our collection of zines?

At MMU Special Collections, we already have a small selection of zines that sit alongside our other collections. The DIY methods of production and design of the zine are an often overlooked aspect of the history of printing and represent a legitimate addition to our established collections. Due to their ephemeral nature they can be hard to source, so we are asking for help with finding zines that we might acquire. Continue reading

International Ambitions

Earlier this year we were awarded a grant by the Working Internationally Regional Project (WIRP). The grant enables non-national museums to undertake international visits to develop projects and partnerships. In this post our Curator, Stephanie Boydell,  shares her recent experience of visiting China to develop a touring exhibition on British book illustration. Continue reading

Ensixteen Editions Latest

Mike Nicholson is variously an illustrator, storyboard artist and academic. He is the artist/author of the bio auto graphic series as published by Ensixteen Editions since 2004 from Stoke Newington, North London. There are currently 28 titles in the series, all of which are held within the Artists’ Books Collection at MMU Special Collections. Each title is covered in Nicholson’s Ensixteen Editions blog, along with other activities including recent work on Matt Berry’s ‘Toast of London’ series for Channel 4. Nicholson shares some thoughts on the process of creating his ‘bio auto graphic’ series.
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Conserving our architectural heritage

Our current exhibition, ‘We built this city’, features a number of architectural designs and plans. Some of these works required many weeks of conservation before they could go on display. The team at Special Collections includes a Paper Conservator, Pauline Birtwell, who was responsible for preparing the works on paper for exhibition, including a drawing by Alfred Steinthal from the JH Sellers Archive.
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