Collections

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Some of our particularly important or interesting collections are:

  • Carboniferous limestone fossils from the Peak District collected between 1900 and 1950;
  • Pleistocene (Ice Age) animal bones and teeth from caves and quarries throughout the Peak District;
  • the archives and libraries of Professor Sir William Boyd Dawkins and Dr J.W. Jackson, geologists associated with the county and with Manchester Museum;
  • the Board photographic collection of images of Buxton;
  • local social history and ephemera;
  • Randolph Douglas ‘House of Wonders’ collection from Castleton which includes a huge collection of locks and keys and some very unusual Houdini material;
  • fine art collection of mostly 19th and 20th century works in watercolours, oils and prints, including works by Brangwyn, Chagall, Chahine and their contemporaries;
  • mineral collections including Blue John, local specimens, and cave deposits;
  • unique collection of decorative Ashford Black Marble objects and the tools used to work it;
  • Derbyshire Police Collection.

The collections are displayed in our Wonders of the Peak time tunnel as well as in temporary exhibitions on different themes. We also manage the Derbyshire Social History collection.