|Sutton Courtenay Mummers photographed
at Culham, Oxfordshire, 1902
Though born in Yorkshire, Percy Percy Manning (1870-1917) spent all his adult life in Oxford, where he collected folklore and an enormous number of objects, books and papers relating to the history of Oxford and Oxfordshire. After he died in 1917, these passed to Oxford University's libraries and museums, and include a small but useful collection of mummers' play texts and photographs. He is best known in the folk world for initiating the revival of the morris dancers seen by Cecil Sharp in 1899 at Headington Quarry, an occasion that influenced the early English folk dance revival.
The following exhibitions and events are being held this year in Oxford to mark the centenary of his death. They have been orchestrated by his biographer, the esteemed morris dancing scholar Mike Heaney.
18 February 2017 - 23 April 2017 - Mon to Sat
Percy Manning: the man who collected Oxfordshire
Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Bodleian Library, Broad St, Oxford, OX1 3BG
A display illustrating the breadth of Mannings collections, from archaeology and buildings history to cricket, mummers and morris dancing - Details >> Even more details >>
Next to the Bodleian display case is a computer display highlighting a few more of the collection items. This can also be viewed online >>
20 February - 8 May 2017 - Mon afternoon & Tues to Sunday
Percy Manning in Oxfordshire Folklore
Pitt Rivers Museum, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PP
A special exhibition trail showcasing objects donated by Manning - Details >>
4th March 2017 - 22nd April 2017 - Mon to Sat
Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A journey through the ritual year
Museum of Oxford, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1BX
Exhibition of photographs by Sara Hannant of English customs - Details >>
Concerts, Talks, Workshops, and more
A programme of one day events is taking place at various venues in and around Oxford up to and including May - Full schedule >>
Book: 'Percy Manning: The Man Who Collected Oxfordshire'
edited by Michael Heaney.
Oxford: Archaeopress Publishing, 2017, 336pp.
ISBN (paper) 978-1-78491-528-5, £30.00
ISBN (e-PDF) 978-1-78491-529-2, £19.00
Further details & orders (also available in the Bodleian shop)
The commemorations are accompanied by a book edited by Mike Heaney, with chapters written by experts on different aspects of Manning's interests and collections. The chapter on "Manning's Mummers' Plays" chronicles his play collecting activities and his dealings with fellow folk play scholars E.H.Binney and T.F.Ordish. Highlights of the collection are covered in more detail, including three texts and a selection of the faded photographs, digitally restored. There is also a comprehensive inventory of the collection.