The People’s History Museum derives its origin from the Trade Union, Labour and Co-operative History Society. From the 1960s the society formed a small collection and between 1975 and 1986 ran a museum in Limehouse Town Hall in London. The collections were then in storage until the Greater Manchester authorities made a funding offer. A new trust was created and the museum re-opened in 1990, initially at 103 Princess Street.
In May 1994 new museum galleries were opened in the Pump House on Bridge Street. This is the only surviving Edwardian hydraulic pumping station in the city and it used to supply power to the warehouses and even wound the Town Hall clock and raised the curtain at the Opera House!
The museum was known as both the National Museum of Labour History and the Pump House People’s History Museum. In 2001 the museum decided to use one name to embrace the whole organisation: People’s History Museum.
In October 2007 the museum closed to the public to allow for the start of a multi-million pound re-development scheme. A bigger and better People’s History Museum re-opened on 13 February 2010.
The People’s History Museum is a charity and is a company limited by guarantee with a maximum of 20 trustees. It is independent and has no political affiliation.
It is accredited as a national museum by Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). In 1998 it was awarded designated status by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which recognises the museum as having pre-eminent collections of national importance.
Registered charity number: 295260
Registered in England as the National Museum of Labour History, number: 2041438