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British Deaf Museum & Archive

British Deaf Museum & Archive

Manchester Deaf Centre
Crawford House
Booth Street East 
M13 9GH



"Set up in 2006, the Deaf Museum and Archive has grown into a credible national collection consisting of numerous artefacts, deaf artwork and paper archive collections of all kinds.

We have been closed for 16 months since March 2020 due to COVID-19 Government restrictions but we have now reopened in Manchester Deaf Centre thanks to grants from the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Cultural Recovery Fund.

The Research Library and the Deaf archives are now fully open and accessible if you make prior appointments. The Museum is currently holding a series of trial openings starting from 1st October but full viewings and tours will not be possible until the Spring of 2022 . This is because some of our displays were damaged during the lockdown moves and are awaiting repair."

A fieldtrip to British Deaf Museum and Manchester Deaf Centre

by Junhui Yang, UCLan, December 2021

The twenty BSL & Deaf Studies students at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan, UK), 2 senior lecturers and 2 interpreters went to the Manchester Deaf Centre to  visit the British History Museum. The Museum recently located from it’s previous address at Warrington.

The new displays were expansive and much more visual than in its previous home. The first display that catches the eye is a huge Deaf History timeline on a banner (see photo 1). A UCLan logo is included in the timeline because our Deaf Studies course established in 1993. We felt proud.

Poster Deaf Museum Manchester

Photo 1

The students were welcomed by Director of the British Deaf History Museum Peter Jackson and volunteer Maureen.

Peter gave a presentation explaining that although the British Deaf History Society was established in 1993, the Deaf museum was established in 2006. Peter also explained how they had diligently built up a huge archive of historical documents and equipment relating to Deaf people. Two staff members (in Museum Studies) then gave the students a personal guided tour of the museum, stopping to explain the background to each exhibit and the reason why they were displaying it.

 deafblind equipment BDM

 A display about DeafBlindness

The students found it incredibly useful to be able to see and touch the documents and objects which they had preciously studied and heard about from their lectures at the university (see photo 3 &4 ).

Photo Peter Jackson Photo of students
Photo 3 Photo 4


The students were thrilled by their experience and said it had enriched their understanding and appreciation of Deaf culture and a greater appreciation of their degree course.

They also visited the Deaf club in the Riley Bar and meeting room were local Deaf people regularly meet and host workshops such as the “Where is the interpreter?” Campaign. There they saw a tribute and photo of DR Terry Riley OBE, a hugely influential Deaf figure from Manchester (see the photo 5 & 6).

Terry Riley Tribute Terry Riley Tribute 2
 Photo 5  Photo 6

 Three members of staff in the Salford Deaf Advocacy Service explained their roles and the services they offer the community of Greater Manchester. Two presenters, Dani and Claire, graduated from the BSL & Deaf Studies course at UCLan. They also encouraged the current students to come and work in their voluntary service which would help the local Deaf community and also benefit the students ongoing learning and understanding of the Deaf community (See photo 6). We already have 3rd year students volunteering within their service.

Students listening to presentation