The collection comprises about 10000 objects and 40,000 photographs, collected since the museum was established in 1981. They all relate to the archaeology, human and natural history of County Down. Over 90% has been given to the museum, by local people, or those who have family connections with County Down. A few items are purchased where appropriate.
Strengths of the collection
The strength of the collection lies in its wide-ranging content and good background history. There are no date limitations and the objects represent 9,000 years of County Down's history. However, most items are late 19th or 20th century. There are particularly good collections of costume, medical items, paintings, photographs and cameras, quilts, tools and toys.
The museum has a special interest in St Patrick and Early Christianity, John de Courcy and the Normans, Thomas Russell and the 1798 and 1803 Risings. Since the museum is based in an old gaol we are also interested in crime and punishment.
Visit our Exhibitions page to find out more.