The collection reflects the history of the people and city of Birmingham from around 1500 to the present. It includes material relating to work, trades and industries, domestic and personal life, and community life as well as personal items associated with political figures such as Joseph Chamberlain. We’ve collected objects by gift, donation, and purchases from the 1950s, but we’ve been developing the collection through projects including Millennibrum (2000) and Collecting Birmingham (2015-18), allowing it to better reflect and engage the city’s super-diverse population.

Birmingham History is a unique collection of national and international significance which reflects Birmingham’s globally important history. The collection includes a wide-ranging and rich resource of material culture and oral testimonies which contribute to our understanding, whilst also retaining a strong relevance to the people of Birmingham.