What's on - Museums and archives

Museum of Wigan Life closure

Due to recent government guidance around COVID-19, and to keep our staff and visitors safe, we regret that the Museum of Wigan Life is temporarily closed. Please keep checking the website for updates on when we can re-open.

Stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

On this page you will find details of museums and archives exhibitions and events.

The Museum of Wigan Life is free unless otherwise stated.

Online events

How to Collect a Videogame by The National Videogame Museum

Join the curators of the UK’s National Videogame Museum as they take you on a journey through their book ‘A History of Videogames in 14 Consoles, 5 Computers, 2 Arcade Cabinets...and an Ocarina of Time’. As the title might suggest, this is a history of videogames...in things. Things? Why things? Surely videogames are digital? For sure, videogames are about graphics and sound, they are about zeros and ones, data and code, bits and bytes and pixels and sprites, but they’re so much more than that, too. They are joysticks and mice, computers and consoles, collectible plush toys and Barbie dolls, soundchips and, importantly, ocarinas (of time). Videogames are things we play with. They are playthings. But let’s not forget that they are things.

Heritage and Local Food

Ahead of 'Stop Food Waste Day' on the 28th April, Archives Wigan & Leigh have teamed up with Food Action Together to host a talk all about local recipes from the Wigan Borough.

We'll be talking about their research into the heritage of local recipes, sharing some for you to try and talking about the best recipes to reduce food waste. Everyone who attends will be given a small pack of digital recipes from our local Archives for you to try at home!

Wigan Pier - The Way We Were and What We Became by Jim Holian

This online talk and picture presentation will explore how the Wigan Pier canal complex and more generally Wigan as a town, developed at the peak of its industrial heyday around 1900. Using contemporary photographs, it will explore the three “C’s” of coal, cotton and canals as well as looking at what happened after the boom years and how the site was later successfully redeveloped. It will also consider Wigan Pier’s plans for the future.

On the 15th April 1912, the Titanic sank just four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the 2240 passengers and crew on board, more than 1500 sadly lost their lives in the disaster. Join historian Caroline Heaven on the anniversary of the tragedy as she tells the story of the ‘Bolton Boys’, two local captains who played very different roles on that fateful night.

Cognition from Chaos: The Anatomy of the Gods by Charlie Guy

A great number of terms in not only anatomy, but also psychiatry, medicine, and other related disciplines, originate from Classical mythology. Some well-known, some largely forgotten, understanding the history behind the terms we use to describe our own bodies can unlock a wealth of knowledge, understanding, and historical curiosity.  Just as the anatomy of the human body is interconnected, so is the anatomy of the Gods and Goddesses of Classical mythology.  Join this animated talk, and learn about the body in a way you may never previously have considered.

Rebels, Radicals, Reform: The Fight for Better exhibition


Rebels, Radicals, Reform: The Fight for Better

Temporary exhibition
Price: Free

The freedom to protest has been a way for people to get their voices heard throughout history. The reasons for protests have been varied, but whatever the reason, it has been the catalyst needed for the growth of freedom and change.

From the Jacobites, Diggers and Peterloo, to the miners strike and recent movements about the environment and racial equality, this exhibition brings to life the many causes the people of our proud borough have campaigned and fought for over the past 600 years, ultimately making it the amazing place it is today.

It features fascinating items from our own collection such as Colonel Eckersley’s sword and scabbard presented to him for his assistance in the Peterloo Riots (1819) and some of our fine collection of political posters, as well as the fabulous The Dinner Hour, Wigan (1874) painted by Eyre Crowe and on loan from Manchester Museum.

Ancient Egypt - as seen on BBC TV

Permanent display
Price: Free

Our popular Ancient Egypt Rediscovered exhibition is now on permanent display.

Get up close and personal with ancient coffins and grave goods. This amazing collection covers over 3000 years of Egyptian history.

Our spectacular gold mask is currently on display at The Fire Within exhibition at The Galleries, Wigan. For opening times, please visit The Fire Within website (external link).


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