Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund the Portico Library Manchester has been able to organise and digitally catalogue its archives for the first time ever. The library has unearthed some compelling stories of daily life over the course of the last 212 years, including episodes of personal triumph and tragedy that are synonymous with the library’s history. I took part in a research residency and the Portico and worked with the Library on a research project that ensured high quality public engagement and emphasis on the collection’s 21st-century context and relevance.
The result of my research into the library’s history using the medium of printmaking and bookmaking to highlight the importance of printed matter and the role of the Newsroom, a central area of attraction for members in the past. In this new body of research, I drew parallels between current issues and the social and political issues of yesterday. “On Paper: Triumph & tragedy in the library archives” was exhibited at the Portico Library 7th Dec 2018 – 21st Jan 2019.