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Social History

The Social History collections contain thousands of objects representing the everyday and exceptional lives of local people from around 1500 to the present. It aims to cover all aspects of the domestic and social lives of those for whom Sheffield is home.

The range of items in the collection is vast, from small personal objects to entire shop interiors. These include a 1960s hair salon, a traditional butcher’s shop and Preston’s c1900 chemists which stood on the corner of West Street and Mappin Street in Sheffield until the 1980s.

There are relics from the Crimean War and the First and Second World Wars including letters, pin badges, ration books, gas masks and uniforms.

Toys, from teddy bears and dolls to card games, jigsaws, farmyards, lead animals and clockwork toys, show how children have played through the years.

Costumes, sewing machines, theatre posters and programmes, typewriters, samplers and domestic equipment are just a selection of the many items in the collection that reveal how people lived in the distant and recent past.

There are also over 1,000 topographical paintings, prints and drawings of Sheffield and the surrounding area dating from around 1750 to the present day. This collection provides a unique visual record of Sheffield’s dramatic transition from country idyll to urban sprawl.

Show Objects
Name of ObjectSorted AscendingAccession NumberCollectionDate Made/FoundTimes Viewed
The New Midland Station, Sheffield1972.450 Social History 19071184
photograph1972.540g Social History 1915-1918476
photograph, postcard1972.540h Social History 1914-1918470
photograph, postcard1972.540i Social History 1914-1918471
postcard1972.540j Social History 1914-1918465
postcard1972.540k Social History 1914-1918499
Balm Green, Sheffield1972.595 Social History 185817362
sampler1973.209 Social History 18253082
Winter Street Entrance, with Lodge1973.478(1) Social History 1880-18992359
Lake and Rustic Bridge1973.478(2) Social History 1880-1899465
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