A Distributed National Collection

Museum gallery at the National Museum of Rural Life (c) Ruth Armstrong Photography

The Rural Museums Network has begun the process of defining what constitutes the Distributed National Collection of Agricultural Heritage Material.

Building up a national picture of how the story of farming is represented in museum collections will enhance public understanding of that material and access to it.

To support this ongoing work, the Rural Museums Network identified the location of publicly accessible rural / agricultural collections across the UK.  This was aimed at capturing all significant collections, which include 100 or more ‘rural’ objects.  A map showing the location of all of these museums can be found here>>

Of course not all significant material is held in museums. Much is in private hands. Developing ways of bringing privately-held material within the scope of a Distributed National Collection is a further aspect of this initiative.

Click on the links to view documents produced as part of this broad project.

AHDNC significance criteria                                                                                                              In 2014 we made the records from the original reports on the Agricultural Heritage Distributed National Collection available on Culture Grid.

Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff
Distributed National Collection of Agricultural Heritage Material: a scoping and development study, 2004

Combine Harvesters
An exercise to survey and rate combine harvesters in the UK. The methodology is described and the results tabulated, 2004

Distributed National Collection of Combine Harvesters
2005 report

Tractors and Combines – Icons of the Twentieth Century
Report of the Collections Working Groups, 2005

Distributed National Collection – Tractors in Museums
A survey and rating of tractors in UK museums. The methodology is described and the results published, 2005

Important Tractors not represented in Museums
2005 report

Distributed National Collection – Threshing Machines in Museums
2006 report

Sorting the Curds and Whey
Report on dairying collections in the UK 2006

Rural Crafts and Trades Collections Today. Part One – The Report
In 2007, David Viner carried out a survey of collections of rural crafts and trades in museums, as part of a project at the Museum of English Rural Life.

Rural Crafts and Trades Collections Today, Part Two – The Directory
A directory of collections that forms the appendix to the report.

Rural Crafts and Trades Collections Today, Part Three – Bibliography
A bibliography compiled as part of the report.

More than Nostalgia
A report produced by David Viner in 2001 for the South West Museums Council.