Every month we will showcase a new site running on the Digital Midlands infrastructure.
Black Country History is a searchable website which allows users to find information about documents, maps, photographs, art works, objects and more held by archives and museums services within the Black Country.
The eight partners involved in this website are:
- Dudley Archives and Local History Service
- Dudley Museums Service
- Sandwell Community History and Archives Service
- Sandwell Museums Service
- Walsall Local History Centre
- Walsall Museums Service
- Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies
- Wolverhampton Arts and Museums Service
Each service holds thousands of items relating to the history of the Black Country including: books, maps and plans, photographs, newspapers, trade directories, local authority records, business records, historical objects, paintings, sculptures and decorative art objects.
Each archive office also provides a wide variety of sources for family tree research including: census returns, parish registers, electoral registers and General Register Office indexes to births, marriages and deaths.
Our museums and art galleries hold a wealth of objects with local connections as well as other objects and art works from all over the world.
All the museums have good fine art collections; paintings, drawings, prints and, to a lesser extent, sculpture. Decorative art, both locally made and from further afield is also well represented with good examples of japanned ware, enamels, steel jewellery, carved ivories. Broadfield House Glass Museum has a magnificent collection of British glass, much of it made locally, dating from the 17th century up to the present day.
We have good collections of locally made items, particularly metal goods, including locks and keys, animal traps and cast brass as well as items that illustrate the social history of the area. Walsall museums collections are particularly strong on leather goods, lorinery and costume, including the nationally important Hodson Shop collection of twentieth century working-class clothing.
Sandwell museums have a wide ranging ethnographic collection, largely donated by Helen Caddick, a local Victorian explorer.