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St Albans Museums has been collecting objects and specimens since the 1890s. A century of collecting means we now look after thousands of objects.  Some are on display at St Albans Museum + Gallery and Verulamium Museum, telling stories about how people in the past lived their lives. Other objects are held in our store for research purposes and for future study and exhibitions.

We are currently working to put our collections database online. Check back soon for the chance to search our collections.

If you have any questions about our collections please get in touch.

Download our Collections Policy here

Archaeology Collection

collection of roman domestic objects

Verulamium’s archaeological collection began with the material excavated by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in the 1930s. The museum now holds the finds from across the district recovered in the eighty years since Wheeler’s work finished. 

As well as the Roman finds from all the excavations in and around Verulamium, including material from villas, cemeteries, farmsteads and temples, we hold in store or on display at the Museum of St Albans, material from the Abbey excavations, Sopwell Nunnery and the medieval town that underlies modern St Albans.

Our archives also  include the paperwork, drawings & photographs from each excavation, and material from recent excavations prior to its publication and inclusion into exhibitions and displays. The archives provide opportunities for future research and analysis of materials as new techniques develop.

Verulamium’s archaeology collections range in time from the Palaeolithic around half a million years ago to the twentieth century and include Iron Age, Saxon, medieval and post medieval material as well as Roman.

Social History Collection

a Dr Nelson Inhaler, a ceramic pot for medical use

The social history collections comprise a wide range of objects relating to the development of St Albans over the centuries, from a market town to the modern city we see today.

We aim to represent all aspects of local life in the collections. From domestic objects to items of costume or local industry, we collect very selectively focusing on objects with a particular connection to St Albans District.

As well as individual items of interest, we also look after a number of significant collections. Of particular interest to local people is the large collection of topographical material – prints, watercolours, drawings and photographs depicting local places and landscapes. 
 
We also care for a large collection of trade tools, brought together by local resident Raphael Salaman and added to the museum’s collection in the 1970s. This comprehensive collection covers a wide variety of trades and illustrates how important manual craftsmanship once was.

Oral History Collection

a straw hat made in St Albans

Everyone has a story to tell. Oral histories can show how ordinary people live their lives, creating a personal link to the past.

We have an archive comprising over 150 recordings on cassette tape of local people talking about aspects of their life in the district going back to the early 1900s and we use these for exhibitions and research.

We are always glad to hear from people with interesting memories, photos and stories of St Albans. If you would like to contribute, or if you have any enquiries about our oral history collection, please contact us.

Donate an object to our collections

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