Social History

This collection is of enormous value as material evidence of the history of Oldham and its people. Almost without exception, each item in the collection was made in Oldham or owned by one of its residents.

It contains items which are unique to Oldham as well as objects of more general interest which reflect the history of the town and its communities.

The collection includes domestic and household items, along with material from local industries.

There are also large specific collections such as archaeology from Castleshaw Roman Fort or an important selection of samplers and other textiles.

As well as historic items we are always keen to collect modern objects that reflect life in Oldham today.


Karen Heatley,
Collections Assistant
Tel: 0161 770 4653

Oldham Rugby League collections

In 2019 we were delighted to accept a generous donation from the Oldham League Heritage Trust. This fantastic collection of rugby league programmes, photographs and other objects was catalogued with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. You can explore these collections in depth on this separate website.

The Oldham Panorama

For many visitors the interactive Oldham Panorama is one of their favourite exhibits. The original black and white photograph was taken in 1876. We’ve also added some colourised versions, what a difference it makes.