Tickets have gone on sale for a special exhibition in summer 2015 marking the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.
Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt is the only exhibition showing an original charter in the North and is one of a number of commemorative Magna Carta events taking place around the UK in 2015.
The exhibition will display the only surviving 1216 issue of the charter, on loan from Durham Cathedral, as a starting point for exploring the history of rebellion and revolt.
Magna Carta was first sealed in 1215 by King John. The concession it has come to represent – that all authority can be limited by law – was extracted from the king by a group of barons who chose political engagement over passive obedience. As such they were acting no longer as loyal subjects, but as rebellious citizens.
The exhibition explores the charter as part of a long history of the contested identity of the citizen, stretching from the Wars of the Roses to the Great Reform Act and from the Suffragettes to the Occupy Movement.
Over time, citizenship included the ‘people’ as well as the aristocracy, and non-elites demanded and secured political participation, rights, and liberties. But within this broad historical narrative, citizenship has never had a single, fixed meaning and the idea of what makes a citizen, and so what makes a rebel, remains contested even today.
The unique charter will be shown alongside objects from Durham University’s collections and loans from other regional and national museums and libraries.
Dr Keith Bartlett, director of culture at Durham University, said: “Palace Green Library’s summer exhibition is a perfect opportunity to view Magna Carta in its anniversary year at the heart of the Durham city World Heritage Site.”
Dr Christian Liddy, senior lecturer in Durham University’s Department of History, said: “In a year in which we are preparing for a general election, the question of what it means to be a citizen is as significant in 2015 as it was 800 years ago.”
Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt runs from 1 June to 31 August 2015. The exhibition will be open from 10am to 6pm daily.
Durham University and Durham Cathedral will run a fascinating programme of related activities alongside the exhibition, from public lectures and family activities, to hands-on workshops and re-enactment events.
•Entry to the exhibition is £7.50 for adults, £6.50 for children (five-16) and concessions, and free for children under five (up to 2 per full paying adult). Family tickets (two paying adults and two children) are £25.00 and the rate for groups of nine or more people booking together is £6.50 per person.
Entry to the exhibition is via timed tickets and advance booking is recommended. Tickets for the exhibition are available via Ticketmaster online: www.ticketmaster.co.uk/magna_carta_2015 or telephone: 0844 844 0444. Visitors to Palace Green Library will soon be able to purchase tickets in person at the reception desk.
Full details are available online at www.durham.ac.uk/palace.green