We have a wonderful Collection of very varied objects relating to Wimbledon. Some are rare or unique, some very old and some brand new. There are quirky, eccentric and fun objects, natural history specimens and documents. Our Collection also reflects the tastes, enthusiasms and preferences of those involved with it, especially in the earlier years. We also have gaps – until recently we had no toys in the Collections and relatively few ordinary domestic and personal items. Many objects have stories to tell about themselves, their makers, collectors or owners. Our Collections are a way of exploring the history, natural history and people of the Wimbledon area over many millions of years to the present day.
Museum of Wimbledon Collections
Highlights of our Collections
For a brief overview of the highlights of our collections we have gathered some of our favourites in one place for you to enjoy.
We have a large and varied Art Collection featuring works from the eighteenth century onwards.
Social History Collection
The Museum of Wimbledon houses an eclectic Social History Collection, ranging from the 1500s to the present day.
Our Book Collection contains a number of historic and important editions.
The Manuscripts and Archives Collection is a fascinating and varied collection of original documents and records.
Our Archaeology Collection is small but distinguished and includes a wonderful collection of flint implements.
We have a small but interesting Geology Collection which includes specimens from Wimbledon and the surrounding areas.
The birth of our Collections goes back to 1903 when members of the John Evelyn Club and others began to collect large numbers of objects of all kinds for a museum they hoped to set up. Most were gifts, while a few were bought or collected. Though some are marked with early dates or mentioned in the John Evelyn Club minutes, a formal Accession Register to record them was not begun until July 1st 1916.
Contemporary photographs depict early temporary exhibitions and displays.
In 1904 Miss Laura Edwardes Jones suggested arranging special exhibitions, which increased offers for the Collections. Objects were collected and stored in various places early on, as they were later during the two World Wars. After a formal Museum Sub-Committee was set up in 1912, storage systems and cabinets bought and exhibits arranged, the Museum opened in October 1916.
An important part of our work, as required for Accreditation, is documenting, researching and caring for our Collections. We aim to preserve them now and for the future, as well as adding to them, so that everyone can enjoy these marvellous Collections and their stories.
Collections enquiries and research
We are very happy to welcome members of the public who wish to consult our collections for research, have questions about the history of Wimbledon, would like to bring in items for identification or wish to offer items for the Collections. Please contact us in advance if you wish to arrange an appointment to consult the Collections, bring in an object for the Collections or for identification, at a time when the Museum is not open to the public.
For all these enquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org