Sleaford is a small, rural market town in the southern half of Lincolnshire, England, with a population of around 16,000. Its origins date back at least as far as the Iron Age, and Sleaford Museum Trust is proud to act as current custodians of the surviving, tangible traces of that past, which it holds in trust for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Sleaford's first local history museum was opened in 1972 by Sleaford & District Civic Trust in premises in the Market Place. When the building was sold in 1982 the museum had to close, and the collection has since been kept in storage until another home can be found for its permanent display. To this end, the Sleaford Museum Trust was formed in 1994 by an association of dedicated people with an interest in preserving and disseminating the history and heritage of the town.
In the short term the Trust embarked upon what it considered to be the next best thing - a virtual museum accessible on the internet. This was achieved with a grant of just under £10,000 from the Lottery Fund's Local Heritage Initiative.
In order to present the collection in good condition a link has been made with the Department of Conservation and Restoration at the Lincoln School of Art and Design, whose undergraduates are helping us with some remedial work. Also, two of their graduates, Rhiannon Hughes and Kaye Tetlow, spent the summer of 2002 conserving, reorganising and making an inventory of a good part of the collection so that the Trust could begin its 'virtual museum project'.
The project has involved producing a computerised catalogue with digitised images of all the artefacts in the collection, which you can browse in the 'Virtual Museum' section of this website. The items in the collection range from ceramics, household goods, clothing, archaeological finds, books, manuscripts, printed documents, maps and photographs to medical equipment - anything that has a connection with Sleaford is welcome in our collection.
In the autumn of 2011, the Trust entered into talks with Sleaford Town Council regarding the possible conversion of the former toilet block in Monument Gardens into a town museum. These talks continue and the Trust is hopeful that Sleaford will have a museum as the Museum Trust celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014.