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Library wins cataloguing grant for Guardian Archive

Vintage photo of The Manchester Guardian and Evening News Advertisement Office

The Manchester Guardian and Evening News Advertisement Office on Cross Street in Manchester. From the Guardian Archive. Image reproduced courtesy of Guardian News and Media Ltd.

The University of Manchester Library has been awarded the 2015 Business Archives Council's (BAC) cataloguing grant, to fund its project 'Behind the Headlines: documenting the people in the Guardian Archive'.

Despite fierce competition from 14 other institutions, the Library’s winning bid was praised for its clearly outlined project plan and the benefits it will bring. The judging panel also recognized the significance of this archive, both nationally and internationally.

The grant will be used to enhance the catalogue of the archive, making it easier to trace individuals connected to the Guardian (formerly the Manchester Guardian) and the Manchester Evening News, largely focusing on records dating from 1880 to the 1940s.

"This project will have a major impact on the support we can offer to anyone wishing to navigate this vast archive," said Fran Baker, Archivist, "We receive many enquiries from people hoping to trace ancestors who worked on the Manchester Guardian, as well as researchers interested in tracking down specific journalists or contributors. Our project will allow us to unlock this kind of information. I’m sure we will also uncover some fascinating stories in the process!"

The Guardian Archive was donated to The University of Manchester Library in 1971. It is housed in The John Rylands Library and forms one of our largest collections. It dates from the newspaper’s establishment in 1821 to the early 1970s and also includes material relating to the Guardian’s sister newspaper, the Manchester Evening News.

The collection contains a huge body of editorial correspondence and dispatches as well as a comprehensive set of records relating to the Guardian as a business concern. It is the business records relating to people – from the editors and contributors to the cooks and cleaners – which will form the primary focus of the BAC-funded project.

The project will run for six weeks starting from 28 September.

Updated: Tue, Feb 28, 2017