Our collections

Archives

We have begun the task of bringing together material relating to our own history as a service, creating our own institutional archive. The archive contains photographs of old museum displays, historic posters and leaflets, gallery plans and more. We are currently busy making sure that these records are listed and accessible.

2021 marks the 200th anniversary of Leeds City Museum. Together with our other venues, it continues to entertain, inspire and educate all who visit, and we are looking to our archive to recognise and celebrate this occasion over the next two years.

To find out more, subscribe to our e-newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see the highlights of our archive.

Conservation

Without the work of our conservation team, many of the treasures in our collections would not be accessible to the public. The conservators look after the physical welfare of objects and the historic sites.

Looking after the collections may mean remedial treatment when a fragile object is damaged or dirty, but equally important is the prevention of any future damage by monitoring the object when it is on display, loan, storage or in transit.

Understanding the materials, construction and historic context of the objects is also vital when deciding on how to care for and treat the objects kept in trust for the people of Leeds.

More information on our work in this area is available in our Care and Conservation Policy (PDF, 106KB).

Two people writing on pads at a desk next to a stuffed fox eating a bird

Researchers and students can consult our collections in our purpose-built research room and can attend object handling sessions with our friendly and informative staff.

With over one million objects in the Leeds collection in state of the art facilities, there’s plenty to see and do.

Learn more about research and enquiries

Quarantine freezer hire

Our large blast freezer will take up to the size of a bison and goes down to -30 degrees Celsius. It is located at Leeds Discovery Centre, with easy access for loading. It is a safe and effective means of pest control and disaster management for many types of organic materials such as textiles, taxidermy, ephemera and furniture. We can hire out our freezer to other museums and galleries for £250 (+VAT) for a full load, £125 (+VAT) for a half load and a sliding scale for one-off objects.

To enquire about hiring the freezer please email museumsandgalleries@leeds.gov.uk.