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 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.
You can find out more about the former owner of Bankfield Museum, Colonel Edward Akroyd here.
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 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.
If you have an enquiry about our collections please write to or email the Collections Team at firstname.lastname@example.org Please be aware that we are a small team so may not be able to respond straight away.
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 email@example.com 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.
Calderdale Museum Service can loan items to other accredited museum services. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any requests.
Should you wish to make a bequest to the service, please contact email@example.com to discuss the nature of the bequest.
Volunteers play an important role at Calderdale Museums, contributing to the work of the Museum Service in many different ways. The roles available vary from visitor facing roles to providing essential support to staff from the Museum’s Collections and Education departments.
It is our aim to work with volunteers and student placements to develop new skills, whilst supporting the Museum Service. Volunteering is very popular at Calderdale Museums, so spaces are limited. Opportunities fall into three main areas; visitor engagement, supporting education in museums and working with collections. For further information and other volunteering opportunities click here.
Calderdale Museums have a range of gallery spaces available for temporary exhibitions. Please see our Exhibitions Listings for examples of our current exhibition programme and we advise you to visit our sites to select a suitable venue.
Calderdale Museums Service hosts several exhibitions each year, three to four of which are large exhibitions at Bankfield. We try to vary the content across different themes and periods as well as across art, sculpture, photography, film, textiles and historical and modern objects. See our current exhibitions page for examples and CLICK HERE for examples of previous exhibitions.
If you would like to submit and exhibition proposal please CLICK HERE for more details on what we are looking for and how to apply.