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Donating to the shoe collection

A pair of blue and gold brocade decorated shoes with heels.

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery aims to develop an international ‘centre of excellence’ for shoes and shoe related material. As an Arts Council England Designated collection it is the foremost collection of shoes in the UK. Consequently we will collect to ensure that it is both comprehensive in scope and worldwide in coverage whilst maintaining a focus on British and western European footwear. 

We would welcome donations of your cherished shoes, objects or artworks that support these themes.

Active collecting supports the following themes which is based on the Collections Development Policy:

  • Material relating to retail and advertising
  • Examples of men, women and children’s high fashion and bespoke footwear from 1800 to the present day and associated owner/wearer/maker stories
  • Shoes, design catalogues and other material from companies and makers under-represented in the collection
  • Shoes worn by notable persons such as public figures, celebrities or people who have been present at, or associated with, key historical events
  • World footwear particularly in relation to the continents of Australia and South America
  • Archive relating to the making and selling of shoes including fashion forecasting
  • Concealed shoes
  • Shoes representing identity and western sub-cultures with specific wearers’ stories
  • World footwear representing cultural identity, rites of passage, religious belief with specific wearers’ stories
  • Shoes representing gender, disabiity, size and LGBTQ+ with personal stories
  • Shoes representing global interactions from across the world
  • Collections relating to specific collectors including oral histories
  • Updates to the trainer collection including oral histories
  • Shoes for work associated with under-represented professions and associated stories
  • Shoes for school associated with personal stories
  • Shoes for war after 1945 with personal stories
  • Shoes for entertainment 1950 to the present day with personal stories
  • Shoes for sport including those worn by sports personalities including personal stories
  • Shoes for animals and associated personal stories
  • Shoes that are customised and associated personal stories
  • Contemporary shoes made of new materials
  • Northampton made shoes and associated personal stories
  • Material associated with sizing and measuring feet from1950 to the present day
  • Shoe shop furniture and advertising
  • Trade union material
  • Shoe company branding
  • Modern production/making equipment in particular trainers

Donate an object or artwork