There are plenty of ways to get involved with the history and archaeology of Merseyside. Why not visit a museum or join an archaeological society?
Many Portable Antiquities Scheme finds can be seen on display at museums around the county (see the links that accompany the descriptions below).
The Atkinson Museum and Art Gallery opened in 1878 funded largely by William Atkinson, a cotton manufacturer from Knaresborough who later moved to Southport. The collections include fine art, decorative art, historical items, and exhibitions of items relating to Egyptology
Named in honour of Professor John Garstang who excavated in Egypt, Sudan and the Levant to provide the University of Liverpool with one of the most important collections of antiquities in the UK. The museum is a unique teaching and research resource with a collection that includes objects excavated in Egypt, the Aegean, Sudan, Jericho, Anatolia and Great Britain.
The International Slavery Museum is located in Albert dock close to the 18th century dock where the slave trading ships were repaired and fitted out. The museum highlights the international importance of slavery, both in a historic and contemporary context.
The Lady Lever Art Gallery was founded by William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925) and houses one of the UK’s finest collections of fine and decorative art. This includes one of the best collection of Wedgwood jasperware anywhere in the world as well as Pre-Raphaelite paintings of international renown.
Merseyside Maritime Museum is in the Albert Dock, Liverpool. It contains a variety of objects associated with the social and commercial history of the port of Liverpool. Highlights include ship models, maritime paintings, colourful posters from the golden age of liners and even some full sized vessels.
The Museum of Liverpool tells the story of the city through items from its extensive collections exploring how the port, its people, their creative and sporting history have shaped the city. As well as hosting the North West’s finds liaison officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the museum’s collections include metal detector finds from South Wirral and Ince Blundell. You can also delve deeper into the history and archaeology of Liverpool by becoming a History Detective.
The National Pipe Archive is a charitable body founded in 1993 and is housed in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Liverpool. The NPA collections includes collections excavated material, curated smoking related objects and an extensive paper archive on pipes and pipe making making it one of the largest research collections of its kind in the UK.
The VG&M is a stunning red-brick Grade II listed building designed by Liverpool-born architect Alfred Waterhouse, which was completed in 1892. It has been at the heart of University life in Liverpool since then, originally housing the university’s main library. As part of Liverpool’s celebration as the European Capital of Culture in 2008 the building was renovated and opened to the public – housing a collection of curiosities from the 120-year history of the University of Liverpool.
West Kirby Museum, founded in 1892 in memory of Charles Dawson Brown, who was a Churchwarden at St Bridget’s Church, houses a collection of stones and other items which tell the story of St. Bridget’s Church and the local village over the past 1000 years. The collection includes an Anglo-Norse ‘hogback’ stone dating to the 10th century AD.
The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum opened to the public in 1928 funded by Birkenhead Borough Council and the philanthropists, John Williamson, a Director of the Cunard Steamship Company Ltd and his son Patrick. It houses the largest public collection of Della Robbia pottery in the UK and is home to some internationally important paintings.
The World Museum first opened in 1853 but moved to in 1860. It is now one of the great museums of the British regions, with extensive collections covering archaeology, ethnology and the natural and physical sciences and human cultures around the world.
Societies & Organisations
Merseyside Archaeological Society
Founded in 1977, MAS is an independent charity funded by its members’ subscriptions. They are interested in the archaeology and heritage of Merseyside; from “often-elusive remains of the prehistoric period to the iconic monuments of the Industrial Revolution in urban Liverpool”. See the MAS website: http://merseysidearchsoc.weebly.com/
Council for British Archaeology, North West
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) North West is an umbrella organisation for archaeology groups across the North West. They organise conferences and events across the region, including Merseyside. See the CBA North West website: http://www.archaeologyuk.org/cbanw/