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Last updated:07 May 2015

Objects of the Month 2012

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 2012. Click on the links to see more information.

February: Correspondence of Ruth and Eddie Frow

Letter from Eddie Frow to RuthEddie and Ruth first met in August 1953 at a Communist Party Summer School. From this time until they moved to Manchester together, they wrote to each other almost every day. Many of the letters discuss in great detail a passion that they both shared: Books on the labour movement.


May: Photograph of 1934 Manchester wiredrawers' strike

1934 Manchester Wiredrawers strikeTo mark the Library's Museums at Night event on 19 May, involving photographer Simon Roberts, our Object of the Month is taken from our extensive photographic collections and shows a mass meeting. This photo dates from 1934, during the nine-month strike by 650 workers at the firm of Richard Johnson & Nephew Ltd., Wiredrawers, of Forge Lane, Bradford, Manchester.


August: Workers' Sports Movement pamphlet

Cover of The Workers Sports Movement pamphletThis 1928 pamphlet describes some early international sporting events, and gives an account of the experiences of a British Workers' Sports Federation football team tour of the Soviet Union. The most prominent events associated with the labour sports movement were the Workers' Olympiads.


September: Manchester Public Free Libraries:A History and Description, and Guide to their Contents and Use (1899)

Campfield LibraryThis September marks the 160th anniversary of the opening of the first Public Free Library in Manchester. This book, published nearly 50 years after the opening of the Campfield Library, commemorates and celebrates the Free Library Movement in Manchester.


October: William Lloyd Garrison - the liberator

Black History Month logoTo mark Black History Month, the Object of the Month on display in our hall is a book, William Lloyd Garrison - the liberator by W E A Axon. This biography of William Garrison, the American anti-slavery campaigner, is by William Axon, a leading figure in the cultural life of late Victorian and Edwardian Manchester.


November: William Hone's 1819 pamphlet 'The political house that Jack built'

Image from The House that Jack BuiltFrom 19 to 25 November is Parliament Week, which aims to raise people's awareness of and engagement with parliamentary democracy. Given that so much of the collection here at the WCML is given to charting the fight for recognition by parliament, the object of the month which we have chosen is a pamphlet from 1819 which satirises the lack of parliamentary democracy.


December: 'Social security: the story of social progress and the Beveridge Plan', 1943 pamphlet

Pages from the Beveridge reportAs part of its morale-boosting campaign, the Ministry of Information supported the publication of this month's object in 1943. The text was written by a civil servant, Sir Ronald Davidson, but more interesting are the diagrams. These are produced in ISOTYPE, a design system developed in Vienna in the 1920s, by Otto Neurath who aimed to ‘represent social facts pictorially'.