In May 2015 postgraduate students from the University of Manchester worked with the city's very own Central Library to curate a new interactive exhibition and an exciting series of events - together the cultural creations were called 'Manchester Wakes'.
Inspired by the tradition of 'Wakes Week', which saw factory workers travelling around the UK to enjoy family holidays by the sea, the project involved local historical stories, absorbing musical performances and engaging community activities.

The exhibition titled Wonderland by the Waves saw students from the university's MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies bring together historical pieces from a range of Northern museums. The live event Workers at Play delivered diverse musical performances curated by MA Arts Management students and former 'Inspiral Carpets' front man Tom Hingley.

The project brought the newly refurbished Library and University together in support of the local cultural scene and provided real-world experience and responsibility for the region's developing industry professionals.

Neil MacInnes, Head of Libraries, Information and Archives at Manchester City Council, said: 
"Central Library is the perfect venue to host the Manchester Wakes project, which celebrates a fascinating strand of the region's history."The 'Wonderland by the Waves' exhibition is a great example of how, by working in collaboration with the University of Manchester, Central Library's Archives+ Centre comes into its own as the perfect place to bring local history to life. "Tom Hingley's 'Workers at Play' event will make the most of the library's Performance Space by offering a very special, free showcase of local artistic talent."
This blog is to remember, recognise and celebrate the cultural work and collaborations that helped make Manchester Wakes a success.