Mansfield Museum was the brainchild of William Edward Baily, a wealthy local collector and natural historian. In 1903 Baily offered his collection and a building - the 'Tin Tabernacle' in which to house it, to Mansfield. The Museum opened the following year.
Important new collections donated by local men, such as those of naturalist Joseph Whitaker and artist Albert Sorby Buxton, soon required a move from the deteriorating Tabernacle and the present building opened in 1938.
In the mid Sixties a fourth gallery was added and in 1989 the 'Arcade' extension took the Museum 'out to the road', raising its public profile. A major 1990's development provided state-of-the-art storage facilities and an education room.
The most recent addition to the Museum has been the XplorActive hands-on environmental gallery.
The Museum is very much focused on working with groups across the community, from local schools to Cub troops, via reminiscence groups, artists' societies, archaeological associations and many others.
A child-friendly atmosphere encourages visits by younger people and their carers. Changing exhibitions aimed at all sectors of local society aim to keep the Museum a relevant player in Mansfield's cultural life.
Education in its broadest sense is a core activity, driving aspects as diverse as our loans service and ArtBeat, our wide ranging holiday workshops for children of all ages.
The Museum is continually expanding its formal education with the provision of additional National Curriculum-linked sessions. Outreach into the community is a key objective with our burgeoning Memory Loans Box provision and the links we are forging with local community groups.
Work is underway on a major refurbishment of the arcade gallery generously support by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This will see a new exhibition about the industrial past of the area and the development of a team of volunteers to support the digitisation of the Museum collections.
Although Mansfield Museum makes every effort to inform visitors of changes to information and opening times, we are sometimes unable to do so due to unforeseen circumstances - please contact us before making travel and other arrangements to avoid disappointment.