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Shoe Collection


Shoe collection and archive

Our shoe collection is Designated by Arts Council England and is of international significance.


image link for The collection

The collection

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is home to one of the largest collections of shoes and shoe heritage in the world. Arts Council England designates the collection as being of local, national and international importance. The collection's strength lies in its very broad range, from ancient Egypt to the latest fashions and from Northamptonshire-made shoes to footwear from around the world.


 Image link to History of the shoe collection page.

History of the shoe collection

Within three years of the museum’s foundation in 1865, records show boots and shoes were donated. The first was a pair of women’s slip-on shoes from India. In 1873, shoe factory owner Moses Philip Manfield suggested that displays of locally manufactured footwear would give shoe workers a standard to aim for and a sense of pride in their work. What then followed was a series of local and nationally significant donations and the collection continues to grow today.


Our other shoe related collections

  • image link to Accessories page.

    Accessories

  • image link to Archive page.

    Archive

  • image link to Concealed shoes page.

    Concealed shoes

  • image link to Fine and Decorative Art page.

    Fine and Decorative Art

  • image link to Photographs page.

    Photographs

  • image link to Retail page.

    Retail

  • image link to Shoemakers Index page.

    Shoemakers Index

  • image link to Shoes page.

    Shoes

  • image link to Tools page.

    Tools


 Image link to The history of Northampton shoemaking page.

The history of Northampton shoemaking

Northampton and the county has a long history of shoemaking. If you want to find out what it was like to work in the industry from 1200 onwards then have a look at these resources.


 Image link to Concealed shoes page.

Concealed shoes

The practice of concealing boots and shoes in buildings has fascinated people for centuries. We support research in this area and hold a register of concealed shoe finds. If you find a shoe let us know.