Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Together Archive

Within hours of the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017 members of the public began to show their respects for the dead and injured by leaving flowers, personal mementos, candles, balloons and written tributes in various locations around the city. These spontaneous memorials grew quickly, with the focus being at St Ann’s Square.

On 9 June 2017 different organisations in the city came together to remove the spontaneous memorial objects from locations around Manchester. Flowers were composted and some of this compost was used to plant the “trees of hope” during the first year anniversary in May 2018; plants were replanted around the city; soft toys were washed and donated to charities to be passed on to children in the UK and abroad; and candles were melt to create 22 new candles which were given to the families of the 22 people who were killed at the attack.

More than 10,000 items (such as notes, letters, cards, drawings, sculptures, toys, t-shirts) have been kept by Manchester Art Gallery to form the Manchester Together Archive, an archive of the public response to the Manchester Arena attack.

In July 2018 the Manchester Together archive project received a £99,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will document, digitise and make available online more than 10,000 items.

The project is led by Manchester Art Gallery in partnership with Archives+ and the University of Manchester.

Visit the Manchester Together Archive project website

Manchester Together press release

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