York Museums Trust Collections


Welcome to York Museums Trust’s online collections area. For the first time ever the Trust’s extensive collection are now available online. The collections cover a vast array of subjects, probably the best known are social history, archaeology and fine art.

York Museums Trust is proud to be one of just a handful of regional museum services in the country which has had every single one of its collections designated by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

The scheme celebrates and promotes England’s most important and culturally valuable collections so that they can be fully enjoyed by many generations to come.

Collections Enquiries

For any collection enquires relating to York Art Gallery, York Castle Museum* or the Yorkshire Museum please contact our curatorial team by clicking here


*Please note due to ongoing work at York Castle Museum, the curatorial team are unable to respond to enquiries at this time. We thank you for your understanding at this time.

Explore Our Collections

You can use the ‘Our Collections’ and ‘Themed Collections’ sections on this page to explore our online collections area.

To explore our Fine Art collection, you can also use Art UK: the online home for art from every public collection in the UK.

Donate to Our Collections

Please note our acquisition programme is currently closed. We will be continuing to keep this under review so please check this page for any updates in the future.

Loans from the Collections

York Museums Trust actively encourages loans from its collections which meet the mission statement of sharing ‘collections, gardens, buildings, art and stories for learning, enjoyment and wellbeing’. We support a large programme of loans in order to enable our collections to be seen by a wider audience than the visitors to our sites, as well as to promote the work of the Trust. However, due to the high number of loan requests we receive each year, regrettably we may not be able to support them all, owing to our own collection commitments and the availability of resources.

All outgoing loans are for a fixed period. Loans for display will be between one month and three years. Research loans will be for a maximum of one month.

York Museums Trust does not charge a fee for loans, but borrowers are required to cover all actual costs relating to the loan.

We recommend potential borrowers have informal discussions with a member of the relevant York Museums Trust curatorial team before making a formal loan request.

A formal loan request must be submitted with a minimum of nine months’ notice.

Should a loan be requested for an exhibition that will travel to more than one venue, the information needed for a formal loan request is required for each venue and a loan agreement will be issued for each borrower.

When making a formal loan request, the borrower must provide the following information:

  • Purpose and dates of the loan with any tour venues and related tour dates
  • A list of the requested objects giving sufficient information for identification, including accession numbers wherever possible
  • A statement about the relevance of YMT’s objects to the exhibition
  • A statement of insurance or indemnity arrangements
  • A completed UKRG Facilities Report and Security Supplement for the venue along with a Display Case Supplement where appropriate
  • Environmental readings for the display space for the same period in the previous year
  • Contact details for the borrower’s person managing the loan
  • A detailed description of the research project and how study of York Museum Trust’s objects will contribute to it (where applicable)
  • Individuals wishing to borrow material for research should provide references. We would prefer to lend to institutions convenient for individuals to visit rather than private addresses (e.g., a nearby university).

Formal loan requests should be made by email to Melanie Baldwin, Registrar (melanie.baldwin@ymt.org.uk).

When a loan has been agreed, the Registrar will write to the borrower sending a loan agreement and schedule of loan, which includes the conditions of loan, for signature by the borrower and the Registrar.