Childhood in the collections


Next month we will be holding our first ‘Childhood’ study day at Abbey House Museum.

Researching for this day has been a lot of fun – with so many different avenues to explore and so many possible topics to consider. That has, however, also made it difficult to decide what we should include. For example, talking about the different types of schools in Leeds over the last 150 years is a massive subject – with so many changes to education over the years.

We will have a closer look at Reformatory schools in the area with a little help from Lucie Wade, PhD student at Leeds Beckett University, who will be coming to talk about some of her research, and there will also be a chance to browse images of a variety of schools in the area from the museum collections, including a few images from Leeds Children’s Day.

Discover historical toys and games!

The day itself will be split between talks and presentations, handling sessions from the museum collections, and gallery tours – with an introduction to a variety of topics around the theme of childhood.

Not everything about childhood revolves around school, so we will also have a little look at toys and games, and how they have and haven’t changed over the years, with a chance to handle a few examples from our collections.

We’ll also talk about the working life of children, particularly in the nineteenth century, including the factory children and the campaign for improvements to their working conditions by people such as Richard Oastler.

Book a space:

If you fancy joining us on 17 November, there are still a few spaces available. The day runs from 11am – 3pm, and costs £10 per person including lunch in the Gatehouse Café.

To book, either give us a call on 0113 3784079 or email us at If you can’t make it this time, we will also be running it again on 27 April 2017.

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