Sign on

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
Sorted AscendingName of ObjectAccession NumberCollectionDate Made/FoundTimes Viewed
ration book1974.624 Social History 19181320
recipe2007.602 Social History 1852578
The Sheffield Book of Recipes2000.45 Social History 1935-1936556
recipe book1975.397 Social History 17211495
recordSH1027 Social History circa 1950445
registration card1975.689 Social History 1915-19181275
rosary1979.506 Social History 19141532
sampler1994.395n Social History circa 1960472
sampler2009.237 Social History circa 18732792
sampler1985.88 Social History 18722637
gPowered byeMuseum

Museums Sheffield

Trying something new can be a little bit scary, but what a great feeling when you make the connection. We're trying new things all the time and we want you to try them too, so come with us and we'll help connect you with art, nature, history, ideas - and each other.

Jump in. Discover something new.

Explore our site