AIU Centre bloggers

Many people contribute to this blog, including members of the core team, our volunteers, placement students, project partners, researchers; basically anyone with an interest in what we do and a perspective or story to share. For the most part these are one-off contributions, so we’ll tell you at the start of their post a bit about who they are.

We do however have some regular bloggers, whose names you will see crop up again and again across the site. Here’s a bit of info about who we are and what we do:


Hannah Niblett
the image shows a white woman with short blond hair sitting in front of a shelf of colourful books

Hannah is the Collections Access Officer for the AIU Centre, and does the overall management and curation of this blog. Her role includes collection management of our archives, with a particular focus on access, engagement and publicity. She has a specific responsibility for our academic engagement programme. Hannah has studied broadly in the Arts and Humanities, and is currently (2018) working towards an MA in Museum Studies.

Hannah’s blogs about her insider-perspectives on the work of the AIU Centre and reflections on collection management, as well as interesting things from the archive and library that she comes across in the rest of her work.


Dr Alison Newby
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Alison is currently our Honorary Research Associate, specialising in focused research projects that bring together race relations themes and materials from cultural institutions in the Manchester area. Alison is a historian by training, as well as a qualified coach working in the HE sector. For her, the roles of coach and historian involve using similar skills, including the abilities to see lots of different perspectives, and to pull together reflections based on the ‘stories’ people actually narrate. You can read about her coaching work here. On the history side, she completed her PhD on nineteenth-century American social and political history at the University of Manchester.

Alison blogs about interesting stories that start with the collection, revealing unusual connections between items in our library, archive and beyond. Her posts often reflect on the process of research and she writes posts for our Research Skills series. She makes an occasional appearance as our Roving Reader.


Jo Manby

Butterfly Head

© Jo Manby

Jo is a freelance writer and artist who studied English Literature and Art History for her degree and subsequently screenwriting evening classes and other short courses in creative writing. Involved with AIU Centre work since 2010, she originally wrote academic book reviews for the online peer-reviewed journal, Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World (MUP), subjects ranging from the civil rights movement, Black British activism and the migrant experience to globalisation, transnationalism and border politics.

Jo has also worked on various AIU Centre library and archive projects, writing hundreds of book summaries for the online catalogue, processing archive material and oral history transcriptions, and devising the project outline and bid for a Writer in Residence programme which resulted in Kotha & Kantha: Bangladeshi Women’s Memoir Project (2016-17).

She reviews book (and occasionally exhibitions) for us, focusing on new acquisitions, as well as blogging for other sites including her own at floraliawordsandimages.wordpress.com.

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