National Lottery funding to help preserve memories from the Manchester Arena attack

Manchester City Art Gallery
Thousands of tributes left by the public in memory of those killed or injured in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack will be preserved, thanks to a National Lottery grant.

The Manchester Together archive, held at Manchester Art Gallery, contains almost 15,000 items left across the city following the Manchester Arena attack on 22 May 2017.

The collection includes toys, notes, poems and other personal items, as well as tributes left on the Trees of Hope trail which marked the one year anniversary of the attack.

Creating a lasting resource

Manchester Art Gallery, Archives+ and the University of Manchester are working in partnership on this project, which has secured an HLF grant of £99,700. Thanks to this support, the collection will be documented and preserved in an online searchable database.

Due to the archive’s sensitive nature, it will not be on permanent public display. However, people will be able to explore the archive digitally, and those who left messages will be able to comment and explain why they took part.

“I am proud that the Heritage Lottery Fund has been able to play a small part in preserving this record of Manchester coming together.”Nathan Lee, Head of HLF North West

Families of the bereaved and injured will also be able to access the archive, and project leaders plan to work with the Manchester Resilience Hub to explore the possibility of using the archive for therapy to help loved ones with the grieving process.

Recording a part of Manchester’s history

Amanda Wallace, Deputy Director of Manchester Art Gallery, said: “From scribbled notes on scraps of paper to beautiful paintings and poems - everything that was left in St Ann’s Square is an important part in the story of what happened here.

“I am honoured that Manchester Art Gallery will be the permanent home of the archive and am pleased we can use technology to give the public access to these items.”

Nathan Lee, Head of HLF North West, added: “Thanks to money from National Lottery Players, the public’s spontaneous messages and tributes will be kept for current and future generations. I am proud that the Heritage Lottery Fund has been able to play a small part in preserving this record of Manchester coming together.”

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