DECLUTTERING is all the rage these days but the prospect of throwing anything away would have horrified folklorist Percy Manning.

He gathered an amazing collection covering the history of Oxfordshire and its residents over his lifetime before his death in 1917.

Now the centenary of his death is being commemorated with a special exhibition at the Bodleian's Weston Library, which will run until Sunday, April 23.

The display at the library in Broad Street features prints, drawings, photographs and sketches of the people and places in the county he collected.

Highlights include an image from a proposal to add a spire to Carfax Tower and the floor plan of The Angel Inn, a pub in High Street that was demolished to make way for Oxford University’s Examination Schools.

Mr Manning also focused on Morris dancing and members of Kirtlington Morris danced at the museum on Monday to help launch series of events about the folklorist.

Michael Heaney, curator of the display and former staff member of the Bodleian, said: "Percy Manning was very interested in collecting disappearing ways of life and customs, and objects that were going out of use.

"He pursued this kind of 'rescue archaeology' before it became popular and his collections provide unique insights into social history and everyday life.

"Manning collected items from more than 400 localities in the county - I doubt there's a community in Oxfordshire not represented in his collections."

The collector's interests ranged from archaeology and local architecture to cricket and Morris dancing.

The display also features brass rubbings and documentary material on people and places of the county, ranging from the halls of academia to rural communities.

The Bodleian exhibition will be accompanied by a lunchtime lecture at the library on Wednesday, March 22.

Mr Heaney's talk is entitled What happened to the extraordinary collections of Percy Manning?

The Pitt Rivers Museum is also hosting a display entitled Oxfordshire Folklore and Customs: Celebrating the centenary of antiquarian and folklorist Percy Manning, which runs until May 8.

The display will be accompanied by a special visitor trail highlighting other Manning objects on display in the Museum.

At The Museum of Oxford, there will be a display called Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A journey through the ritual year, which runs until April 22.

And the Ashmolean Museum is hosting a display in the summer, entitled Percy Manning: The keen field antiquary.

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