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
Name of ObjectAccession NumberCollectionDate Made/FoundTimes Viewed
souvenir2005.134 Social History 1942546
spoon2010.43 Social History 1902460
Spooner's Wheel, Rivelin, SheffieldK1956.8 Social History 1877740
St James's Church, Norton2009.264 Social History 1843-1881625
St Paul's Church, SheffieldK1906.1 Social History 7040
Stacey WheelK28. Social History 1864-1875436
statue2001.201 Social History 567
Steel Forging Works and River Don from Effingham Street, Sheffield1995.289 Social History 1960-1970471
stethoscope1999.264.1 Social History 1920-1930517
sticker2017.337 Social History 374
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