Our collection


Alongside our historic sites, Ripon Museum Trust holds a collection of around 9,000 objects, relating to our sites, themes and stories. We have an especially significant collection of objects relating to the police service in Yorkshire and the Humber, dating from the late 1800s to present day. Our policing collection includes:
  • Police uniform and headwear, including specialist clothing such as riot gear;
  • Medals and badges;
  • Truncheons, including that of Thomas Sweeting, Ripon’s first police officer;
  • Handcuffs and restraints;
  • Documents and photographs;
  • Police equipment, including lamps, communication equipment, crime scene investigation kits.
We also hold a number of objects relating to Ripon Union Workhouse. Few objects from workhouses survive so the ones we hold are rare, unique and special. They include:
  • Guardian’s Chair, used by the Chairman of the Board of Guardians from the 1850s;
  • Vagrants’ Baths, used by vagrants entering the Workhouse;
  • Vagrants’ Nightshirt, worn by a vagrant in Knaresborough Workhouse;
  • Workhouse beds, used in Knaresborough Workhouse.
Around 10% of our objects are on display in the museums, the rest are kept safely in our museum stores. If you would like to view or research any of our stored collections, please get in touch.

Online collection

We are working to put our collections online, in a searchable database. In the meantime, we have put a small selection onto eHive for you to browse.

Donate an object to our collection

Ripon Museum Trust has built up a diverse collection of objects, documents and photographs relating to its key themes of law and order, crime and punishment, and social justice in Ripon and Yorkshire. The Trust is still actively collecting and we are very grateful to those who donate objects to our collection.

However, the cost of caring for our collections is high and we have limited storage space. For this reason, we are not able to accept everything that is offered to us. We carefully assess each object offered to ensure that it fits in with our collecting policy, that it is in good condition and that it does not duplicate material we already have.

If you would like to offer an object to the collection, please contact the museum before bringing the object in to us. It is helpful if you can provide as much information about the object and its history as possible and send us a photograph of the object too. We are unable to accept anything that is left at the museum anonymously.

To offer an object to the collection, please contact us by calling 01765 690799 or emailing [email protected].

Download our collections policy here.

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