The Archaeology collection covers Bronze Age pottery, Iron Age finds from Hunsbury, Roman finds from Duston and Irchester, pottery, weapons and jewellery from Anglo-Saxon cemeteries and many other objects were first collected in the 19th century.
The greater part of the fine art collection consists of British easel paintings and works on paper, from the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection's greatest strength lies in landscapes and topographical works. The non-British pictures include an important group of 15th to 18th century Italian paintings. There are around 3,000 works in the art collection.
The collection includes ceramics, glassware and metalware as well as a small number of furniture pieces. The great areas of strength are the fine collections of British and Oriental ceramics given to the museum early in the 20th century by five private collectors. There are approximately 4,100 items in the decorative art collection.
The museum has a small collection of art and social history objects from around the world including Africa, China, India and Australia. The collections reflect the constantly changing cultural and religious beliefs of the many diverse communities in Northampton.
The Geology collection has its roots in the very beginnings of the museum in the 1860s. Two names stand out as being the main collectors from whom specimens were obtained: Spencer Compton (Lord Northampton) and Beeby Thompson. Both were outstanding local geologists. The collection consists of about 40,000 items of which 75% are Northamptonshire Jurassic finds acquired mainly from Compton and Thompson.
The social history collection includes objects dating from 1600 to the present that which illustrate aspects of community life including civic affairs, working life, and the full range of personal and domestic life material, including costume.
Coins and medals
The Archaeological Numismatic Collection consists of about 12,000 items, principally locally found Roman, English Medieval and later coins and tokens. Particular strengths are the coins from Northampton Mint, and a large number of Northamptonshire tokens and checks. The social history collection includes around 800 medals relating to local people, clubs or societies.
Northampton Borough Council is the custodian of the Northamptonshire Regimental and Northamptonshire Yeomanry collections. The collections reflect both the military and civilian aspects of these services.
We also have an extensive specialist reference library. If you have any enquiries relating to our collection, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01604 838111.