Our Work

#Harris Your Place

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Help us create the first blended museum, art gallery and library in the UK - a one in 100-year opportunity for the Harris.

Every day, almost 1000 people, from all walks of life, visit the Harris - just as our Victorian founders hoped they would.

But after 125 years of daily use, the Harris is tired.

You’ve told us what you want – Preston’s hidden collections on show, new spaces to enjoy, more opportunities to be inspired, and for the Harris to be your place. And here for the others who need it too - forever.

Now, with your help, we have a one in 100 year opportunity to make the Harris uniquely special again – for everyone.

#HarrisYourPlace

The UK’s first blended museum, art gallery & library.

Watch our one minute film about #HarrisYourPlace here

Make your donation today.  Donate online here

Read our leaflet about #HarrisYourPlace here.

Download a copy of our outline plans here.

Download Frequently Asked Questions about #HarrisYourPlace here


STOP PRESS! 2nd January 2019 We have been awarded initial Heritage Lottery Funding for #HarrisYourPlace.  Read the full story here.


There are many ways you can donate, including:

• Online here through The Big Give,

• By text – simply text HARR11 followed by £3, £5 or £10 to 70070

• By cheque, payable to the Friends of the Harris, sent to Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP. Don’t forget to enclose your details so we can thank you!

• In cash using one of our donations boxes around the building (it’s worth even more if you complete a Gift Aid envelope and put the donation inside!).

If you would like to get involved in another way, such as running your own fundraising event or volunteering to help us, please drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01772 258248.
We'd love to hear from you.

Friends of the Harris 
Registered Charity Number: 503726

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The Future for Museums: Re-Imagining their role

A photo shoot in the Harris Museum & Art Gallery

As part of the Re-imagining the Harris project and in partnership with UCLan we recently held a public debate looking at the future of museums.  On 6th July 2016 over 65 people ranging from students to museum professionals, funders to local Councillors and university academics to members of our Friends' group, gathered at the Harris to hear three speakers offering fresh perspectives on the role of museums in the 21st century.

Speakers Katy Ashton, Director of the People's History Museum; Janet Dugdale from the Museum of Liverpool & Merseyside Maritime Museum (Liverpool Museums); and Dr Jerome de Groot from the University of Manchester provoked debate, and provided the opportunity for the audience to ask questions.  
The panel was chaired by Jon Finch, Re-imagining the Harris Project Leader.

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Preston College and Astley Park School

Astley Park School activity

We teamed up with Preston's College to deliver workshops based on our Lucy Beech and Occulist Witnesses exhibitions to Year 10 students at Astley Park School, a special needs school in Chorley.

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Puck Young People's Street Art Project

Puck, painting by Richard Dadd

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Street Art - working with teenagers to bring "Shakey" to a local community in Preston.

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Conservation and Research

Placing items in the gallery

Creating a legacy for generations to come and unlocking the stories behind our collections.

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The Harris in the Community

Creative programmes to promote mental well-being, bringing art to a wide range of community groups in the Preston area.

Working with our partners in the local community, we encourage individuals and groups that need extra support to work with us. This work is targeted specifically at young people; vulnerable adults; minority groups and older people (through our Reminiscence programme) and services are provided either at the Harris or off-site in the heart of the community.

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Preston Remembers

Photo of War Memorial

Preston Remembers – On all Fronts

In the run up to the Centenary of the First World War in 2014, Preston is hoping to secure funds to renovate and remodel the Cenotaph.

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North by Northwest

Harris Fine Art Gallery photo

The Harris is a member of this network promoting and developing contemporary visual arts in Lancashire and Cumbria.

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Working with Artists

Opportunities for local artists to exhibit in the Harris

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Digital Aesthetic

Digital Aesthetic logo

Not just an exhibition, but a city-wide vibe.
Curated in partnership between the Harris and UCLan, Digital Aesthetic is an international exhibition, conference and website of digital art.
October 2012 sees the launch of the last in the Digital Aesthetic series following successful events in 2001 and 2007.

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Current: An Experiment in Collecting Art

Current exhibition logo

An experiment in acquiring contemporary art held in 2010.

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