Since 1888 Newport Museum and Art Gallery has been collecting evidence of Newport’s history, culture and environment.
The history of the people who lived in this area is traced from the earliest evidence 250,000 years ago through to the twentieth century, and include the Beaker people, the Silures, the Romans, the Vikings and the Normans.
The point on the world which is now Newport began many millions of years ago and has moved gradually from just below the equator to the north east edge of Europe. This geological story is told through fossils, rocks and minerals. The weather helped to carve the landscape as we know it today and the Weather Centre describes the natural forces involved. Humans have learned to live in the landscape by building homes but nature has moved in too. The Wildlife in the Home display illustrates the animals who share our homes.
The Social History collection in the museum is made up of 20,700 objects reflecting the everyday lives of ordinary people in Newport and the surrounding areas over the last 200 years. This includes some fascinating objects and stories and it is the most varied collection within the museum.
Themes covered by the collections range from domestic and personal life, education, religion and politics to local industrial developments and agriculture and include objects as varied as tools, vacuum cleaners, mangles, washing machines, household equipment to wartime artefacts, photographs and costume.
The most significant collections within social history are the Transporter Bridge archive, which includes all the original designs for the bridge and photographs of its entire construction and the Chartist collection; weapons, broadsheets, silver and prints from the 1839 Chartist protest in Newport.
Most of the collection was donated by the people of Newport and tells their stories through their eyes.