Search the Museum Collections…
The West Berkshire Museum Collection.
The museum collects objects that help to give people a Sense of Place, understanding what West Berkshire has been, is now and will be in the future. The items in our collections are used in exhibitions, educational activities, research and community projects. They help people to engage with their own individual and community history as well as that of West Berkshire.
We have a wide range of material in our collections covering art, science and history and culture. We have internationally important finds from the Mesolithic period of the Stone Age and nationally important collections of Egyptology and from the English Civil War. For a detailed introduction to the collections and an overview of how it has developed read our article The Curators and Collections.
We are still collecting the past and present. We undertake contemporary collecting with the view of capturing key events so that the museum will be able to represent these moments in history. If you have something you think we might want, please have a look at our Acquisition and Disposal Policy which sets out what we can and cannot accept.
We welcome interest in the collections and if you would like to see any item we hold, please contact the collections team firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment. As the collections are stored away from the Museum, we need some notice to retrieve and prepare objects.
The Museum Library and Local History Research.
The Museum has a reference library available to the public during opening hours 10am – 4pm. The library holds a wealth of local history resources including books, journals and periodicals. These resources can be searched through the online catalogue.
The Museum team might be able assist with local history enquiries. If you have an enquiry, please use the online form to contact us. There are also many active local history and archaeological groups that cover a range of specialisms and might also be able to help you with your research.
Temporarily, until 1 February 2023, the Museum will not be accepting new donations for the collection, including offers of objects from members of the public and deposits of archaeological archives. This brief pause will allow staff and volunteers to work through a backlog of donations from 2020-2021, when the Museum team was not at full capacity because of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have an urgent enquiry regarding a time-bound deposit, however, please email email@example.com and we will do our best to assist.