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Collections and research

Discover our collections

The museum cares for the historic objects of Walsall Borough. The collection includes objects from Walsall Leather Museum as well as from museums that have closed: Walsall Museum, Birchills Canal Museum, Jerome K. Jerome Birthplace Museum, and Willenhall Town Museum.

There are over 14,500 objects altogether, as well as trade catalogues, photographs, books, and oral history recordings.

  • The Walsall Leather Museum collection focuses on the history of the Walsall leather industry and the lives of those who worked in the trade.  There are about 2,000 objects. They include tools, saddlery and harness, light leathergoods, and contemporary designs in leather.
  • The Walsall Museum Service collection contains about 12,500 objects. It represents the trades and industries of Walsall Borough -  “The Town of 100 Trades” - and 19th and 20th century social history. There is also a large collection of costume including the nationally important Hodson Shop collection.

You can see objects that are not on display by making an appointment with the collections officer. If you're thinking about donating an object for the museum collections, contact us to tell us more.

Visit our collections online

You can see the museum's collection of objects in a searchable online catalogue. This resource is shared with the other Black Country museums and archives.  To view Walsall's collections, filter the results by partner and select 'Walsall Museums Service'.

Arrange a research visit

We welcome enquiries from members of the public and academic researchers.

Livery companies library

The library is open by appointment. It contains books, trade catalogues and information files relating to the leather industry and manufacturers. Family history researchers may also want to visit Walsall Archives.

Contact us to arrange a visit to the library, which is located inside the museum.

The study and collections store

The store is home to objects that are not on display. Objects are available for use by researchers.

We also keep the research library of Walsall Museum (now closed) in the store. This contains books on Walsall history, social and industrial history, and costume.

Contact us to arrange a visit to the store, which is located in Darlaston.

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Find out more about Walsall's history and the leather industry

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