The Heritage Project


In 2015 MRSN Heritage was given funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund to create an accessible archive to make the remarkable history of the Manchester Refugee Support Network available to everyone. The archive  contains oral history recordings with important figures in the organisation’s formation and development that tell the story of how MRSN has evolved over the last 20 years. It also includes photographs, documents and objects that tell the story of how Manchester’s refugee communities have come together to support one another.

The Archive has now been deposited in the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre (AIURRRC) at Manchester Central Library, so that future generations can find out about our work. There is currently a pop-up exhibition at the AIURRRC and you can see digital displays and get a taste of the oral histories in the Archives+ area at the Library-in the ‘Radical Thinking section. We hope that the project and the archive will challenge people’s perceptions of what it means to be a refugee and inspires other groups to record and archive their own histories.

Our archive is now housed within the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre at Manchester Central Library. It contains photographs, documents, oral histories and all kinds of paper, ephemera and objects charting the twenty year history of the organisation.  Many of the best images and stories are also be showcased on an interactive timeline that will appears on this site.

July-August 2016

  • MRSN exhibition: part of a Refugee Week exhibition was held in the community exhibition area at Manchester Central Library. This exhibition has now finished, but there is currently a pop up exhibition in the Library. You can see the panels from the exhibition by clicking the exhibition link on the main heritage page.

October 2016

  • We completed our Oral History and archive project in October. We  interviewed former director Hazel Healey and also did a group recording of MRSN forum members and UKBA staff who worked together on a project to improve facilities at Dallas Court in Salford back in 2006.

December 2016

  • The MRSN Heritage Project celebration and digital exhibition opening took place at Manchester Central Library on 3rd December 2016.

January 2017

  • The digital exhibitions are now display in the ‘Radical Thinking’ section of Archives+.

As part of the project we held a number of exhibitions. The first of these was displayed in the basement area of Manchester Central Library. This was a joint exhibition with the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre . The exhibition has now finished, but you can take a look at the panels by clicking the link below:

MRSN exhibition

Here are images of the panels in situ:

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The exhibition features the stories of some of the amazing people we have interviewed as our archive continues to grow.

There is now a permanent digital exhibition on display in the ‘Radical Thinking’ section of Archives+ at Manchester Central Library.

This features some of the most fascinating items from the archive. You can see digitised documents and find out the amazing stories behind them. There is also a chance to listen to excerpts from all our oral history interviews.

As part of our project we have conducted oral history interviews with 20 people who have been involved with MRSN over the last 20 years. You can hear short excerpts from the recordings by following the link below:

For more information contact MRSN

For information on oral history go to:What is Oral History

To view the timeline of key events in recent history of Manchester, click here.

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