Manchester Digital Collections: Tokens of Affection

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
John Rylands Library

15 April 2021 Entrance is free — Visit now

John Rylands Library, like many of the cultural institutions of Manchester have been finding ever more inventive ways to bring their collections to the public. Join Angie McCarthy and Tony Richards from the library’s Imaging department, in an online lunchtime talk on the role portrait photographic jewellery played in the interpersonal connections of previous generations. Using the Manchester Digital Collections, this talk transports you to a time where images of loved ones were kept in pendants and pocket watches rather than on phone lock screens.

30 minute talk from Angie and Tony the floor will be opened for a 15 minute question and answer.

John Rylands collection of these keepsakes from a previous generation’s nostalgia, have been compiled and displayed in the newly created Photographic Jewellery section of Manchester Digital Collections. The talk will help people discover this huge digitally available archive and will look at the life cycle of the artefacts and the lives of the people they will have held massive sentimental value for.

bite sized engaging cultural events are a perfect way to experience something outside of the workplace

After a 30 minute talk from Angie and Tony the floor will be opened for a 15 minute question and answer session. The event will take place on Zoom, after registering you’ll receive a link on the morning of the event. While we look forward to a time when we can enjoy the talks and tours from John Rylands in real life, the online events have been a great way to access insight into the collections.

When lunch breaks may just mean walking from one room in your house to another, or eating a sandwich on the go, tuning in to these bite sized engaging cultural events are a perfect way to experience something outside of the workplace whatever that may look like for you.

Where to go near Manchester Digital Collections: Tokens of Affection

White Cloth Hall

White Cloth Hall is a new food and drink project, based in a Grade II listed venue in Leeds city centre.

MUSU Restaurant & Bar

Musu is a modern Japanese restaurant and bar in Manchester City Centre, specialising in awe-inspiring food. We take an advance look at their festive menu. 

House of Fu Manchester

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Allpress at NOMA is a home to all things coffee, with a café and seasonal menu incorporating locally sourced ingredients.


Forty-Seven is a luxury boutique hotel on Peter Street in Manchester city centre, above the high-end Indian restaurant Asha’s.

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An independent bookshop specialising in literature across the LGBTIQA+ spectrum
From novels to children’s books, YA to memoirs, non-fiction to graphic novels… there’s a whole range of specialist queer literature to be found at The Bookish Type.

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