Social history is the lived experience of the past and focuses on the social, economic and culture of Jersey’s past. The social history collection consists of approximately 26,000 objects and includes everything from textiles to ceramics and farming ploughs.
Only a small amount can ever be on display at our sites, and so much of the collection is held in our Object Store. We run a programme of Open Store visits, throughout the year to welcome visitors to the store to give personal insights into this fascinating world of museums behind the scenes.
Jersey has a long maritime history which is reflected both in the strong tradition of marine painting, particularly of ship portraiture within the Art Collection. The Social History collections include everything from model ships to fishing nets and even the House Flag and Lifebelt for the SS Vega a key part of the Island’s history providing vital provisions for Islanders with Red Cross Parcels between 1944 & 1945.
Our Militaria collection includes uniforms, medals, and weapons from the Royal Militia of the Island of Jersey (RMIJ). These objects illustrate the story of the Island’s proud military history with items ranging from the 17th Century through to the 20th Century.
A key part of the Island’s economy has been its agricultural industry which has often influenced the rural landscape. In many cases the ingenuity of local farmers has resulted in often unique tools and machines adapted for specific farmer’s requirements.
Our Social History collection contains a wide variety of ploughs, seed drills and other agricultural tools. There are also numerous objects relating to the many private dairies that existed prior to centralization in 1954 when the Jersey Milk Marketing Board was established. The story of the Island’s farming past is further reflected with objects relating to the once key wool and cider industries.
The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles that was occupied by the German forces during the Second World War. The Social History collection holds a number of objects relating to this momentous period in the Island’s history. The wide variety of objects include homemade toys, household objects and crystal radio sets used by islanders to secretly listen to BBC news.