Our collections

Across the service we are responsible for the care and display of collections of local, regional, national and international importance. The range of collections means that we can use a selection of artefacts, archives and records that give strength and depth to the stories and themes we cover in our displays, exhibitions and resources.

Plymouth and West Devon Record Office

Plymouth and West Devon Record Office is the archive repository for the city and West Devon with collections dating back to the 12th century. The archives it holds range from parish registers, educational records, coroner’s records, court and prison records through to large photographic collections.

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery is responsible for over 800,000 artefacts. A proportion of the collections are on display in the museum, council buildings and other historic sites. These collections span a wide range from fine art, decorative art, archaeology, world cultures, social history, natural history and local and maritime history.

Highlights include the Cottonian Collection, which is an outstanding art collection assembled by Charles Rogers FRS FSA (1711 to 1784) which presents a fascinating glimpse into the achievements of an 18th century English connoisseur. We look after the largest collection of oil paintings in the Southwest and the nationally significant minerals collections.

South West Image Bank (SWIB)

The SWIB archives are managed by Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives. Work is underway to prepare the collections for relocation to The Box in 2020. Once open, the public will be able to see the collections throughout The Box galleries and search in the Cottonian research room.