Each of the partners involved in this website holds thousands of items relating to the history of the Black Country: books, maps and plans, photographs, newspapers, trade directories, local authority records, business records, historical objects, paintings, sculptures and decorative art objects and much more. The range of subjects covered by these collections is wide ranging – archive collections focus on local places, people and industry whilst our museum collections also contain material from further afield.
Information about these resources can be found on this website by carrying out a simple search – just put one or more words into the search box to see records that maybe of interest.
Highlights from our archive collections
All of our local archives have important collections of photographs of local streets and buildings, including churches, shops, banks, public houses and schools. There are also photographs relating to transport: buses, canals and trains.
Highlights from our museum collections
Our museums and art galleries hold a wealth of objects with local connections as well as other objects and art works from all over the world.
All the museums have good fine art collections; paintings, drawings, prints and, to a lesser extent, sculpture. Decorative art, both locally made and from further afield is also well represented with good examples of japanned ware, enamels, steel jewellery, carved ivories. Dudley Museums Service has a magnificent collection of British glass, much of it made locally, dating from the 17th century up to the present day.
We have good collections of locally made items, particularly metal goods, including locks and keys, animal traps and cast brass as well as items that illustrate the social history of the area. Walsall museums collections are particularly strong on leather goods, lorinery and costume, including the nationally important Hodson Shop collection of twentieth century working-class clothing.
Sandwell museums have a wide ranging ethnographic collection, largely donated by Helen Caddick, a local Victorian explorer.