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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 ObjectAccession NumberCollectionDate Made/FoundSorted AscendingTimes Viewed
badge2018.29 Social History 19832363
The Village Street, Crookes, SheffieldK1903.1 Social History 19012364
Scraps of Paper... German proclamations in Belgium and France1976.1081 Social History 19162396
donkey stone1992.1166 Social History 1900-19502421
pendant1984.69 Social History circa 19102422
postcard1970.131c Social History 1914-19182429
parachute2007.90 Social History 19402442
samplerK1932.2 Social History 1829-18502470
badge2018.50 Social History 1980-19892478
sampler1977.1196 Social History 1854-18992481
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