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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
samplerX1971.1 Social History 18363320
photographX1973.475z Social History 1950-1960477
Old House, Norfolk Street, SheffieldX1974.629 Social History 1780-18353213
ticketX1975.558a Social History 19601102
ticketX1975.558b Social History 1960475
samplerX1977.921 Social History 18634755
Batchelor's Peas Knitting and Recipe Leaflet No.23X1993.695a Social History 1939-19451775
Batchelor's Peas Knitting and Recipe Leaflet No.24X1993.695c Social History 1939-19452474
toilet rollZ468.2 Social History 19854276
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