Burnley Council Minutes

In store at Towneley are Burnley Council Minutes from 1902 until around 2000. The first accession register was started in 1932 and details of accessions prior to that are mainly recorded in the sub-committee minutes.

The minutes from the early years contain a great deal of information about the collections including reports of objects offered to the museum that were not accepted, but by the 1950s the minutes were much shorter and only major accessions were mentioned in the minutes.

Before the 1970s, there was no clear collections development policy and ad hoc policy statements occassionally appear in the minutes. One example in 1922 is a response to a letter from Sister Bernard of Ashdown Park, Sussex in which she offered to exchange two of the Whalley Vestments for two large oil paintings, originally at Towneley. The sub-committee replied "that this Committee do not feel justified in disposing, either by way of exchange or sale, of any of the exhibits at Towneley Hall".

From the 1970s onwards, the minutes relating to the collections are mainly recording permission to loan objects to foreign exhibitions. The most useful information in the minutes of the 1980s and 1990s record summaries of work on the conservation of the building itself, more detailed information not having survived elsewhere.

Author: tk - August 2016