Collections

Calderdale Museum Service is responsible for maintaining sites and collections at Bankfield Museum, Shibden Hall, Heptonstall Museum and the Smith Art Gallery, in addition to two museum stores in the region. These sites house a range of over 70,000 objects.

When the museum at Bankfield opened in 1887 most of the collections were from the Halifax Antiquarian Society. Over the years various curators have collected from around the world, leading to the eclectic mix of archaeology, ethnographic materials, art, sculpture, industrial heritage and social history in Calderdale Museums.

 

Shibden Hall

Shibden Hall displays collections relating to the house and people who have lived there, including Anne Lister (1791 - 1840), the noted diarist. Shibden Hall will be the focus of a new BBC drama series written by Sally Wainwright, exploring the life of Anne Lister and those who lived in the Hall and Estate, whilst she was the owner. The series, entitled 'Gentleman Jack' will be filmed in 2018 and will be aired on BBC and HBO. 

Shibden is also home to the Folk Museum displaying a range of rural crafts.

 

Bankfield Museum

Collections on display at Bankfield Museum cover local history, costume, art, toys, military history, jewellery and textiles from around the world. Bankfield Museum is where much of our art and costume collections are stored when not on display at Smith Art Gallery, Shibden Hall or in Bankfield's galleries and can be accessed for research purposes.

You can view our oil paintings online at Art UK.

Bankfield is also home to the Duke of Wellington's Regimental Museum and the award winning exhibition For King and Country on the top floor about Calderdale in the First World War.

 

 

Heptonstall Museum

Heptonstall Museum has a selection of items and stories relating the local area, including the Cragg Vale Coiners.

 

 

 

Smith Art Gallery

Calderdale Council has an important collection of fine art featuring, in the main, local artists and local scenes. Some of this work is on permanent display at the Smith Art Gallery in Brighouse which also hosts temporary exhibitions. See our exhibitions page for details. You can view our oil paintings online at Art UK.

 

West Yorkshire Textile Heritage Project

The West Yorkshire Textile Heritage Project is a partnership formed by Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield museums. Funded by a grant from the Esmee Fairburn Collections Fund run by the Museums Association, the project improved collections documentation and access, created a textile trail leaflet, a website and an online database. 

 

Enquiries

If you have an enquiry about our collections please write to or email the Collections Team at collections@calderdale.gov.uk Please be aware that we are a small team so may not be able to respond straight away.

 

 

Donations

Calderdale Museums rely on donations to build the collection, which holds objects donated by the public since 1887.

All donations must comply with our Collections Development Policy, museum legislation and council policy. Donations ideally need to have a local connection, be in good enough condition to be displayed and be an item we do not already have examples of. Please do not be offended if we cannot accept your donation, it could be simply too big or we already have a similar example, in which case we will recommend where else might be interested.


If your objects are books or paper records we advise you to contact the West Yorkshire Archive Service or your local library through Halifax Central Library, on Northgate, Halifax, as we tend not to hold archive materials.

Please write to us or email details to collections@calderdale.gov.uk along with any images you may have of the object.

All offers of donations are discussed at our monthly collections meetings, after which we will get back to you with an answer as soon as we can.

 

Loans

Calderdale Museum Service can loan items to other accredited museum services. Please contact collections@calderdale.gov.uk with any requests.

 

 

Bequests

Should you wish to make a bequest to the service, please contact collections@calderdale.gov.uk to discuss the nature of the bequest.