Bolton Library and Museum Services

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  • Family events

    Toddler Tales - Westhoughton Library

    Join us every Friday at 10am for free storytelling sessions for young children and their mums, dads and carers, ideal for toddlers aged 2 - 4. Sessions take place at all Bolton libraries throughout the week. Contact any Bolton library for details.

    Fri 02 October to Fri 15 May, 10am

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    Toddler Tales - Harwood Library

    Join us every Monday at 2pm for free storytelling sessions for young children and their mums, dads and carers, ideal for toddlers aged 2 - 4. Sessions take place at all Bolton libraries throughout the week. Contact any Bolton library for details.

    Mon 16 September to Mon 24 August, 2pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Tai-Chi - Westhoughton Library

    Join Age UK’s Tai Chi sessions at Westhoughton Library. Tai Chi is a gentle form of exercise but you can also work up to more challenging moves if you wish! The free session will take place every Monday, from 12pm to 12.45pm. If you have any queries please contact Westhoughton Library on 01942 634640.

    Mon 30 September to Mon 30 March, 12pm to 12.45pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    Baby stay and play - Westhoughton Library

    Calling all babies and their families! Join us for Baby stay and play at Westhoughton Library. Enjoy and explore together through songs, play and sensory activities. Suitable for ages 0 to 2 years and just pop by. The sessions will take place every Friday from 10.30am to 11.30am.

    Fri 11 October to Fri 15 May, 10.30am to 11.30am

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    LEGO Brick Building Club - Breightmet Library

    Become a better builder, learn new skills about building with LEGO. Family friendly free event for children aged 6 to11 years old with their carer. Beginners and newcomers always welcome. Please contact Breightmet Library on 01204 332352 to make sure there has been no change to the date or time of the sessions. LEGO does not officially run or endorse this event.

    Thu 05 December to Thu 04 June, 4pm to 5pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Reading Friends - Bolton Central Library

    Join us to enjoy conversations about reading. Becoming a Reading Friend is a chance to take time out, meet new people and share stories. Bolton Central Library’s Reading Friends meets on the second Friday of the month from 2pm to 3pm. Reading Friends is a national initiative co-ordinated by The Reading Agency and funded by The National Lottery and Arts Council England.

    Fri 13 December to Fri 13 November, 2pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    Arty Babies - Bolton Museum

    Calling all babies and their families! Join us for Arty Babies - a fortnightly group for babies and their families at Bolton Central Library and Museum. Arty Babies brings our collections and resources to life through songs, play and sensory activities for you and your baby to enjoy. Suitable for ages 0 to 2 years. Free entry, just pop by. Arty Babies will meet at 10.30am on: Tuesday 31 December, Tuesday 14 January, Tuesday 28 January, Tuesday 11 February, Tuesday 25 February, Tuesday 10 March, and Tuesday 24 March.

    Tue 17 December to Tue 24 March, 10.30am to 11.30am

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    Garden Stars - Harwood Library

    Join us for our monthly Sunday Garden Stars family session with green garden fun, stories and arty craft! Suitable for children aged 4 plus and their families.

    Sun 12 January to Sun 08 March, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    Toddler Tales - Bromley Cross Library

    Join us every Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm for free storytelling sessions for young children and their mums, dads and carers, ideal for toddlers aged 2 - 4. Sessions take place at all Bolton libraries throughout the week. Contact any Bolton library for details.

    Thu 16 January to Thu 17 December, 2pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Exhibitions

    Poking Fun: Satirical Prints of the Georgian Era - Bolton Museum

    The Georgian period (1714 - 1830) was a time of great change within British society. Fashion and manners became more refined, yet there was also an increase in gin drinking. The Industrial Revolution led to more crowded towns and cities and disease spread rapidly. Much of this is reflected in the satirical prints and caricatures of the era. The rise of satire and caricature in the Georgian era was fed by a quiet revolution in publishing and printing which encompassed new printing technologies, new publishers and more great artists producing prints. The exhibition includes examples by some of the most famous artists and publishers of this golden age of satire, including the Cruikshanks and William Heath. The images lampoon a royal duchess, Bath society, quack doctors and inventions. Prints were also produced of celebrities of the day.

    Sat 18 January to Sun 01 March, The exhibition is open when the Museum is open. Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri 9am to 5pm,

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    Toddler Sensations - Bromley Cross Library

    A sensory group which is a relaxing and an interactive session to encourage parent and tot bonding. The session is parent led where you and your little one/s can explore selections of mini multi-sensory activities which incorporate a variety of props. Activities are changed weekly. No need to book and sessions are free. The session does not run during school holidays.

    Mon 20 January to Mon 28 December, 1.30pm to 2.30pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Tuesday Knit and Natter group - Westhoughton Library

    Come and join us with your knitting and crochet. All ages and abilities welcome. Help is always available and the chatter is great.

    Tue 21 January to Tue 30 June, 1pm to 3pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Exhibitions

    The Gallery - Keith Ward - Harwood Library

    For the month of February Harwood Library’s Gallery will feature an exhibition of watercolours and acrylics by local artist Keith Ward. The works are for sale. Please note that the Gallery is on a Mezzanine floor and access is via a spiral staircase.

    Sat 01 February to Sat 29 February, The Gallery is open during Harwood Library's opening hours.

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Reading Friends - Breightmet Library

    Join us to enjoy conversations about reading. Becoming a Reading Friend is a chance to take time out, meet new people and share stories. Breightmet Library’s Reading Friends meets on the first Thursday of the month from 2pm to 3pm. Reading Friends is a national initiative co-ordinated by The Reading Agency and funded by The National Lottery and Arts Council England.

    Thu 06 February to Thu 03 December, First Thursday of each month, 2pm to 3pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Bolton Family History Society Genealogy Helpdesk - Harwood Library

    On the second Saturday of the month from 10am to 12pm members of Bolton Family History Society will be at Harwood Library to help with your family history research issues.

    Sat 08 February to Sat 13 June, 10am to 12pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Exhibitions

    Men of Letters exhibition - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    A retrospective of two celebrated lettering artists, Tony Forster and Phill Grimshaw. Both men died tragically young. Due to the analogue nature of their work it has remained largely unseen by the wider public. The exhibition is being staged by the School of the Arts, University of Bolton, with the support of the museum. Both designers had strong connections to the School, one as a tutor, the other as a student. The work of Tony Forster and Phill Grimshaw has been recognised internationally and both have won many prestigious awards. This exhibition is a rare opportunity to see finished pieces of typography and typeface design by the two men, but also the working drawings that led to their final award-winning designs.

    Sat 08 February to Sun 08 March, The exhibition is open during Bolton Museum's opening hours.

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Spring Live Literature - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    The University of Bolton and Bolton Central Library are proud to present free poetry and performances events as part of the ‘Live Literature’ series. Tuesday 11 February The Night Brother: Rosie Garland reads from her prize-winning fiction, with an interview and Q&A. Tuesday 17 March Later Emperors: Evan Jones launches his new collection of poems, with host Professor Michael Schmidt + special guest Carcanet poet. Tuesday 21 April Doris: John Graham Davies and Alison Down discuss their development process using research and script extracts from this piece of new writing.

    Tue 11 February to Tue 21 April, 6.30pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Guided History Tour - Smithills Hall

    Explore Smithills Hall with a guided tour of this magnificent building. Smithills Hall opened to the public as a museum in 1963 but its history dates back to the 14th century. During the tour discover more about the history from one of The Friends of Smithills Hall. Tickets cost £5 adults and £4 concessions. Please book in advance, you can pay by cash or debit/credit card at Smithills Hall or call Tel: 01204 332377.

    Thu 27 February, 1pm

    Admission: Tickets cost £5 adults and £4 concessions.

  • Adult events

    Falls prevention talk - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    Are you concerned about falling? Or know someone at risk of falling? Join us for a talk from Age UK on how to prevent falls and what to do if they occur. Light refreshments will be provided.

    Fri 28 February, 2.30pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Filthy Shakespeare performance - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    Filthy Shakespeare Company will be liberating centuries of LGBT+ censorship to enable Shakespeare to be experienced by new audiences. This exciting immersive production will be staged in the Bolton History Gallery. By translating the original uncensored text with Drag Artists, Theatre Creatives and Academics we are enabling Shakespeare to finally go beyond it's censorship. The performance will be followed by a 15 minute Q & A with the actors & producers. Suitable for aged 15 and above. The performance is part of the OUTing the Past Festival which will be held at Bolton Central Library and Museum on the same day (Saturday 29 February) from 1pm. If you wish to join us for the festival please book a place on Eventbrite.

    Sat 29 February, 6pm

    Admission: Please book your free ticket on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/filthy-shakespeare-performance-tickets-91178729033

  • Exhibitions

    The Gallery - Harwood Library

    For the month of March Harwood Library’s Gallery will feature an exhibition of watercolours by local artist Eric Orr. The works are for sale. Please note that the Gallery is on a Mezzanine floor and access is via a spiral staircase.

    Sun 01 March to Tue 31 March, The Gallery is open when Harwood Library is open.

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    Silver Screenings - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    Watch British comedy drama 'Sometimes Always Never' starring Bill Nighy. This film screening will be shown with subtitles for deaf and hard of hearing. Light refreshments will be on sale.

    Wed 04 March, 2pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    Teatime tales for World Book Day - Bolton Central Library

    Dressed up for World Book Day? Come along in costume if you wish for some stories and a hunt around the galleries for some popular book characters.

    Thu 05 March, 4.30pm to 5.30pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Exhibitions

    Elemental exhibition - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    The work of Paul Miller, artist in residence for our recent Elements science exhibition, will be displayed to coincide with British Science Week. This digital installation is an exploration of the elements and their relationship to us and the world we live in. This project has been funded by Arts Council England.

    Sat 07 March to Mon 13 April, Bolton Museum's opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm, Wednesday 9.30am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Family History workshops - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    Do you want to know more about your ancestors but have hit a brick wall in your research?Come along to a series of four workshops which will be held on the following Saturdays from 10am to 12.30pm: Saturday 7 March, Saturday 14 March, Saturday 21 March and Saturday 28 March. The cost for the four workshops, run by the Family History Society, is £25 and includes refreshments and course notes. For further details and to book a place, please call 01204 525472.

    Sat 07 March to Sat 28 March, 10am to 12.30pm

    Admission: £25 for four workshops

  • Family events

    Drumming and dancing party - High Street Library

    We invite you to a free welcome party with food and the chance to have a go at West African Drumming and learn West African dance moves. No experience of drumming or dance required. This is a family friendly event and both adults and children are encouraged to join in! A warm welcome awaits everyone! Free tickets are available from High Street Library or by phoning 01204 332359. This event is presented by High Street Library in partnership with Community Arts North West . The artists are presented by Amani Creatives.

    Sat 07 March, 1.30pm to 3pm and 3pm to 4.30pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Family events

    Cinema at the Crescent - Wonder Park - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    Join us for this fantastic family film! Light refreshments for sale. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Free event and no need to book.

    Sat 07 March, 2pm

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Spring is in the air - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    Celebrate the start of Spring at our Reading Friends’ event with songs, poems and prose performed by Bolton Little Theatre. You can also join us for a game of Book Title Bingo and a chance to win a prize! Light refreshments provided.

    Thu 12 March, 6pm to 8pm

    Admission: Please book your free ticket on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/spring-is-in-the-air-tickets-89390692969

  • Exhibitions

    Photographing the English North, 1890-1990 - Bolton Museum

    This exhibition examines how the North of England has been portrayed in the work of leading British and international photographers. The exhibition has been curated by Dr Ian Glover with support from Dr Keith Roberts, both from the University of Bolton, and has been created as part of the 2020 Worktown Festival. Photographs from a range of national and international collections will feature in the exhibition including pieces by Bill Brandt, Martin Parr, Bert Hardy, Humphrey Spender, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Tish Murtha and Chambré Hardman.

    Sat 14 March to Sun 26 April, Bolton Museum's opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm, Wednesday 9.30am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

    Admission: FREE

  • Adult events

    Lunchtime talk - Bolton Central Library and Museum

    Discover more about Bolton Central Library’s special book collections as we discuss the Power and the Glory: 500 years of Religion in Bolton.

    Wed 25 March, 1pm

    Admission: FREE