Local History

The Local History collection promotes a strong sense of identity and place, inspiring pride in the City as well as celebrating the creativity and achievements of its people.

A wide range of material – such as personal possessions, ephemera, tools, machines, furniture, uniforms, photographs, transport memorabilia, civic memorabilia – reflecting all aspects of the cultural, social and economic life of the people of Stoke-on-Trent is collected. Much of it is of 19th and 20th century in origin, with one or two earlier objects. Contemporary items from the 21st century are also collected.

William Blake Collection

William Blake Collection

The photographic collection of Longton photographer, William Blake, contains around 1,500 images taken throughout The Potteries and Staffordshire. They are a unique record of working life and social conditions in the region during the first half of the 20th century.
Spitfire RW388

Spitfire RW388

Currently off-site for restoration, Spitfire RW388 was donated to the City of Stoke-on-Trent in 1972. It honours Reginald J. Mitchell, the designer of the Spitfire, who was born and educated in North Staffordshire.
Arnold Bennett Collection

Arnold Bennett Collection

Documenting the life and work of a literary giant. The collection encompasses paintings and drawings by Bennett, letters, manuscripts, plays, photographs and books. It also includes objects owned by Bennett and his family.