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Mapping Manchester: Cartographic Stories of the City

23 Jun 2009

New public exhibition in John Rylands Library, Deansgate, opens 25 June

Historic Reading Room
25 June 2009 to 17 January 2010

Mapping Manchester showcases the wealth of cartographic treasures held by The University of Manchester and other institutions in the city, including generous loans of materials from the Manchester City Library and Archives and Chetham’s Library. It demonstrates how maps change over time in response to technology, society and economic imperatives, highlighting visually striking cartographic representations of Manchester.

The cartographic stories told in the exhibition include:

  • People behind the map, focusing upon contrasts in commercial mapping of Manchester over a two hundred year period.
  • Manchester as an industrial powerhouse and commercial centre, looking at the Ship Canal and Trafford Park.
  • Mapping contrasts between rich and poor housing in the city - through social surveys such as Richard Bastow’s map and the changing built environment of Hulme.
  • Changing moralities in the city is considered through representations of disease and drinking.
  • The pleasures of mapping is brought to life in terms of visitors’ guides to Belle Vue Zoo and Pleasure Gardens, now no longer in existence.
  • A series of display boards also highlight the different techniques employed by professional cartographers to map the city. These displays examine change over time, scale, thematic content and design.

A taster of events associated with the exhibition...

Mapping Manchester – Curatorial Stories
Exhibition tour and Close-Up session
Thursday 27 August & Saturday 24 October
12noon-12.45pm

With the curators of Mapping Manchester: Stories of the City, explore the themes of the exhibition through key objects on display and discuss the role of mapping in documenting the history and development of the city.

Tickets £2.50, available from:

For full details of exhibition events, please see:

and follow the link to What’s On – Summer 09