Gateway to the Forest of Dean

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Dean Heritage Centre Museum & Galleries

Library FAQ's

Dean Heritage Centre Art Gallery HOW MANY OBJECTS ARE IN THE COLLECTION?
Our collections comprise of around 12,000 objects and over 8,000 documents and maps all relating to the history of the Forest of Dean.


If you have made an appointment and only wish to visit the library, there is a reduced charge of £5


WHEN IS THE LIBRARY OPEN?
The library is staffed:
Wednesday 1.00pm - 4.00pm
For detailed research we advise you to make an appointment to ensure we have the resources you require. Please telephone 01594 822170 to make an appointment. You are welcome to drop in when you visit the Museum if a member of the library team is present. Entry to the library is included in the museum admission price. If you have made an appointment and only wish to visit the library then there is a reduced charge of £5.

HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION?
The Dean Heritage Centre is currently transferring its collection records from index cards to a new database. We hope to put a catalogue of our collections on-line in the future. If you would like further details about the items in our collection please contact the Collections Manager who will do their best to provide you with the information you require.

WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION DOES THE LIBRARY HOLD?
We have a wide range of material available for study including:
Books: many books, pamphlets, periodicals, trade directories & journals relating to the Forest of Dean and surrounding areas.
Documents: archival manuscript material, Crown Reports and Acts of Parliament, newspapers, personalia, souvenir and commemorative material and documents relating the coal and iron mining in the forest of Dean.
Maps: large collection of Ordnance Survey 25" maps from 1880 onwards, tithe maps and apportionments, encroachment maps, Sopwith geological maps and many more local maps.
Family History: Photographs, wills and access to ancestry.com
Postcards & Photographs: over 2500 images of the Forest of Dean and surrounding district including local views, events, family and group occasions and Forest collieries.
Archaeological Documentary Archives: from work conducted in the Forest of Dean.

CAN I PHOTOCOPY INFORMATION THAT I FIND?
We can photocopy information from our sources for you, providing that it is within current copyright limits and the material is in a good condition. The Library staff reserve the right to prohibit copying on grounds of preservation. We can provide digital copies and reproductions of images and documents from the archive. Please click here for our policy and prices.

DO WE PROVIDE VALUATIONS?
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide valuations or authentications for items. However we can provide opinions and identifications for objects. If you have an item that you think may be of historical importance and you would like to get its value confirmed, we would suggest that you contact a commercial valuer.

HOW DO I OFFER SOMETHING TO THE COLLECTIONS?
If you have an object that relates to the Forest of Dean and you would like to donate it to the collection please contact the Museum on 01594 822170 or email nicola@deanheritagecentre.com with your contact details and a short description of the piece. Please make contact with the Museum before bringing in any objects to avoid a wasted journey. The Museum is grateful for donations, but is unable to take everything it is offered due to lack of storage space and a strict collecting policy.

WHY DO MUSEUMS COLLECT MORE OBJECTS THAN THEY CAN DISPLAY?
The role of the Dean Heritage Centre is to collect and preserve evidence of the natural and human history of Forest of Dean. However, we cannot display all the items in our collection. Some items are very sensitive to light, temperature or humidity and would disintegrate if left on display.

Other items are not very exciting to look at but tell a vital part of Forest of Dean's story. These items are carefully stored and available to the public to view by appointment. We also have limited display space in our museum and are only able to exhibit around 20% of the collection at one time. In order to put the maximum amount of material on display some items are placed on loan to other organisations or used as part of our temporary and touring exhibitions.