Book excerpt from the exhibition

We Have Always Been Here

17 January - 13 July 2024

About the exhibition

Explore stories of identity in The University of Manchester Library collections.

Collections can tell surprising and complicated stories that wrestle with the idea of identity.  

Who gets to decide how we are represented? Many people’s histories in the Library have been overlooked  but they have always been here. 

The stories in this exhibition examine self-representation, identity politics and community solidarity. This exhibition is a starting point. It is a commitment to show that this Library is for and about everyone. 

Items on display

  • Newly-commissioned poem by Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan reflecting on how identities are represented in the archive.
  • Photographs, flyer and map exploring Manchester Carnival in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
  • Letter and books by members of the LGBTQ+ family including Eleanor Butler, Wilfred Owen and Frances Power Cobbe.

Many items in this exhibition are from the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre.The RACE Centre is a specialist library and archive focusing on the history of global majority communities in Greater Manchester (and beyond), as well as anti-racist activism, refugeeism and migration, and the development of thinking about race and ethnicity. 

Free entry.