People's History Museum

Greater Manchester, M3 3ER

The People's History Museum in Manchester is a unique resource.

It explores the world-changing ideas fought for by the working people of Britain, charting the nation's democratic history from the early 19th century to the present day. It is dedicated to the history of the Trade Union movement and derives its origins from the Trade Union, Labour and Co-operative History Society. The museum presents a history of the campaign for democracy in Britain over the past two hundred years.

It opened its doors to the public in its current form in February 2010 following a major re-development " earning it a place on the Art Fund Prize 2011 long list "  but has been an important part of Manchester's cultural scene since 1990. Containing almost 1,400 square meters of exhibitions space and 1,500 historic objects, the museums attracts around 60,000 visitors a year.


Among the museum's highlights is the largest display in the world of trade union banners. Visitors can watch banners being conserved in the museum's specially designed Textile Conservation Studio.

The collection of 18th- and 19th-century political cartoons rivals that seen at the British Museum, and the museum boasts a significant collection of posters, including more than 1,500 relating to the Spanish Civil war and to the Labour Party. There is a substantial collection of the work of Cliff Rowe, a founding member of the Artists International Association; a collection of commemorative ceramics; and some 70,000 photographic images covering the history of the Labour party and social history in general.  Additions in recent years include collections from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Oddfellows Friendly Society, the Co-operative and the Professional Footballers' Association.


Venue information

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5pm

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)