Rare showing on museum 25th

By Cathy Forman, March 5, 2009

Manchester Jewish Museum is celebrating its 25th anniversary by staging an exhibition of artefacts not generally shown to visitors.

Explained Alexandra Grime, curator of the Cheetham Hill museum: “We have asked previous curators, volunteers and local historians to choose their favourite item from the extensive collection of objects that we hold. This gives visitors the opportunity to see items that are usually in storage.”

Opening on March 24, the Favourite Things exhibition will feature the tools of a sheitel (wig) maker and a register of the births attended by an unqualified midwife who worked in the city’s Jewish immigrant districts in the early 20th century.

Another exhibit will be the Harris House Diary, completed by 15 refugees from Nazi Germany who stayed in a hostel in Southport.

“It has been fascinating for me to explore our hidden collection,” Ms Grime added.

“I hope it will entice visitors who have never been to the museum as well as those who have already seen our magnificent building, as these items have not been displayed in this way before.”

Housed in a former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, it attracts 14,500 visitors annually, 80 per cent of whom are non-Jews.

For example, the museum is a popular venue for school parties from the surrounding multicultural neighbourhood.

Last updated: 5:11pm, July 22 2009