Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Borough Council

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If you are a researcher, designer or just passionate about shoes you may be interested in visiting our Shoe Resources Centre. The centre holds the following:

  • Footwear: more than 12,000 items ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary design
  • Accessories: including buckles, laces, shoe horns, trees, spats, leggings and polish
  • Shoemaking tools: machines and components including lasts
  • Retail trade material: including shop furniture and fittings and advertising material
  • Archive material: including trade journals, company catalogues, books and photographs
  • Fine and decorative art: including paintings and prints depicting shoes and shoemaking
  • Index of shoemakers and shoemaking firms from the Roman period onwards
  • Index of concealed shoes hidden in buildings to bring good luck
  • Specialist reference library

Tours can be arranged by appointment for groups or educational organisations.

You can make an appointment to visit the centre by ringing 01604 838111 or emailing

Footwear collections research framework

Research into the collections and all matters relating to the creation, production and consumption of footwear is encouraged by the museum. This research framework and strategy has been drafted to provide a focus for those engaged with or contemplating research into the collections. 

Contact the museum directly should you wish to discuss your area of research.  


Shoe, history and art library

Are you a student in fashion, archaeology or history? An art lover? Or simply curious to discover a collection of ancient and recent books on these subjects…

We have a library that is available for use and books are available to the public to look at by appointment.

Over the years, the museum has collected many books about shoes and fashion, local history, archaeology and art and our books are a cultural resource that will be useful for your studies and research.

Thanks to our online library, you can make an appointment to choose a book by ringing 01604 838111 or emailing to come and view it.