The People’s History Museum and WORKLAB – International Association of Labour Museums invites you to the WORKLAB meeting in Manchester 18-19 June 2012.
Fifteen years ago European based museums of labour founded WORKLAB – The International Association of Labour Museums. Today, this network has 40 member museums from four continents. WORKLAB is run with little bureaucracy, flexible organisation and wonderful people. It has been a great tool for labour museums. Our network can be used for sharing knowledge, learning from each other and organising co-operation. We have initiated several EU-funded projects like Migration, Work and Identity 2000-2004 and A Taste of Europe 2009-2011. Currently, our member museums have other potential international application plans in preparation . A number of other institutions have been involved in our activities – international conferences, projects, publications. Now it is time to review the situation of our network and plan a successful future for labour museums in the 2010s.
With several museum professionals in labour museums coming to the end of their careers, it is important to engage the new generation in WORKLAB. We are also inviting new museums interested in the labour museum community to join our network of comradeship. Some industrial museums want to pursue the social, political and cultural lives of the workers who operated the machines and other objects in their technical collections. Historical and city museums are also interested in covering the working lives of their inhabitants. In addition, museums of working class life and industrial culture can find WORKLAB as a useful network. Our meeting in Manchester is the best place to advance all these purposes.
The WORKLAB meeting in Manchester is a working seminar. The meeting will be held in the new premises of The People’s History Museum on Left Bank in Spinningfields, Manchester City Centre. The re-opening of the museum in February 2010 was the culmination of a £13 million redevelopment project. With its new exhibitions, archive and textile conservation studio PHM is a leading labour museum in the world and a must see attraction for all labour museum professionals.
Monday 18 June
11.30 Arrival and lunch
12.30 Tour of the People’s History Museum
14.00 What is new in WORKLAB museums? Short presentations from member museums about the current situation and new developments in labour museums.
15.00 WORKLAB meeting. Discussion about WORKLAB strategy and future plans for co-operation. How our network can support the development of labour museums? What are our shared objectives? Do we need common projects, exhibitions or publications? How we keep our network alive and prospering in the coming years?
17.00 Meeting ends. Time to check-in to hotels.
19.00 Evening meal (at own cost).
Tuesday 19 June
9.00 WORKLAB meeting continues. Supplementing the board and other formal decisions first and then project planning. What kind of projects should we promote? Who are willing to participate? How to proceed?
13.00 Project planning continues until 15.00 if necessary. People interested in different projects can be divided into smaller meetings to discuss applications etc. If there are no suitable project groups or planning is already done in the morning, there is time to visit other museums in Manchester.
There are no delegate fees. However, delegates are asked to cover their own costs for the evening meal on the Monday night as well as their own travel and accommodation. PHM will provide tea, coffee and lunches on both days.
Registration to the meeting is mandatory and should be made to Lauren Hibbert (lauren.hibbert(at)phm.org.uk) by email before 31 May 2012. Please can you let Lauren have any dietary or access requirements in your booking email. Please can you also notify the museum if you are arriving at the museum later than 11.30am on Monday 18 June.
Accommodation should be reserved directly from the hotels. However, we recommend you to use either The Castlefield Hotel or the Jurys Inn Manchester as common hotels for all delegates as they are close to the museum. If you would like help finding an alternative or cheaper hotel, please contact the museum.
The museum can also provide details of travelling into Manchester from the airport and finding the museum. Please contact the museum for details.
All museums participating in the meeting are warmly encouraged to give a short presentation about their museums. These presentations should be 5-10 minute long and focus on key points of their current situation and new developments in their museum. With these presentations we will try to assess the overall situation in our network. If you are able to give a presentation, please mention it in your registration email. Any PowerPoint presentations are kindly asked to be sent with an email beforehand by 12th June (lauren.hibbert(at)phm.org.uk). Please note that the museum’s computer systems are not set up for Mac presentations, which should be converted into a format for PCs.
The whole idea of this meeting is to share ideas, plan common projects and shape the future of the WORKLAB network. We ask all participating museums beforehand to plan potential projects and exhibition ideas as well as their own vision for international co-operation among labour museums. There will be plenty of opportunities to discuss each other’s important themes with international colleagues.