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Last updated:24 April 2015

Objects of the Month 2010

Every month someone from the Library chooses an interesting object, book or document from the Library collection, which is displayed in the hall of the Library. Here are a selection from 2010. Click on the links to see more information.

February: Release of Nelson Mandela

Nelson MandelaFebruary's object is a photograph of Nelson Mandela to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his release from prison. On 11 February 1990 Nelson Mandela was released from jail following 27 years of imprisonment. His release was broadcast live all over the world. An international campaign for his release had begun in 1980, culminating in ever-tightening economic sanctions against South Africa.


March: Miners strike, cards of support

Miners' Strike support cardMarch's object was chosen by Bethan Murray, volunteer: “I chose this collection of 5 cards, created by the group Artvists from Barnsley, Yorkshire, as I feel they are a great way to show support and to make the public aware of the situation in the mining communities. With their eye-catching images of the events through out the strike and bold colours, they draw people in to look at the contents inside."


April: History Lesson

Aixafem el feixismeApril's object was chosen by Lynette Cawthra, Library Manager: "The Library is full not only of dramatic words, but also of dramatic images", she said. "I chose these images as I felt their eloquence spoke for itself". The WCML has a collection of fascist and anti-fascist pamphlets and leaflets, spanning a broad range of organisations and campaigns.


May: Ernest Jones commemorative jug

Ernest Jones commemorative jugErnest Jones was a lawyer, poet, journalist and one of the later leaders of the Chartists. He was born in 1819 in Germany and lived there until he was 19, when his family returned to England. He got married in 1840 and began a career as a barrister. In 1845 he broke away from his career and became an honorary leader of the Chartists.


June: National Council for Civil Liberties

National Council for Civil Liberties Annual Report 1971Pamphlets of the National Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty). The National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) was founded in 1934, by Ronald Kidd, to defend ‘the whole spirit of British freedom'; after he had witnessed brutal police attacks at the 1932 Hunger Marches. From its foundation it has worked to protect civil liberties and promote human rights.


August: Police Strike ballot 1919

1919 Police Strike ballot formThe ballot form is a new accession to the Library. In May 1919, the NUPPO issued a strike ballot calling for recognition of the union, re-instatement of PC Spackman and others and an increase in pay and pensions. The majority voted in favour of strike action, but the strike was postponed indefinitely.


September: First TUC meeting circular, September 1868

First Trades Union Congress meeting circularThis month's object is a circular calling the first Trades Union Congress (T.U.C.) in Manchester, 1868. The first Trades Union Congress was assembled by Manchester and Salford Trades Council and held at the Manchester Mechanics' Institute, Princess Street. This is a copy of the circular inviting unions to the Congress.


December: Pretoria Pit disaster serviette

Pretoria Pit disaster servietteThe Library's object of the month for December 2010 is a serviette commemorating the mining disaster at Pretoria Pit, near Bolton, on 21 December 1910.  Many talks and other commemorative events to mark the centenary of the disaster are taking place in Westhoughton this November and December.