Barnsley's Greatest Treasures

Register your vote in the hunt to find Barnsley’s Greatest Treasure.

The final object has been revealed and you now have 2 weeks to choose your favourite from the wonderful pieces included in list.

Cast your vote by using the buttons that will are displayed underneath each treasure on the website or alternatively you can visit any of the Barnsley Museum sites where you have the opportunity to look through the treasures and pick the one you like best.

The winner will be announced at the Friends of Archives Social event on 9th Monday March.

Click here to view our video of the treasures.


Self-service Co-operative stores photograph album, 20th century

The post Second World War period saw the introduction of the first self-service Co-Operative stores, with customers using baskets to retrieve their own purchases. This photograph album captures the introduction of this new shopping experience to the Barnsley area.


Egyptian mummy tin

Egyptian Design Tin, Barnsley Canister Company. This is one of dozens of colourful and characterful tins from the Canister Company in Barnsley's collections. Experience Barnsley Museum collection.


Barnsley Distress Relief Fund voucher book, 1926

The 1926 general strike in the United Kingdom lasted ten days and was an attempt by the Trades Union Congress to prevent wage reductions and improve conditions for coal miners. This voucher book dates from the time of the strike. Each voucher was valued at sixpence and could be used at local shops. The shopkeepers then presented the vouchers to the treasurer of the Relief Fund.


Cocus wood cabinet

Cabinet, c.1685. The veneer on this cabinet is cocus wood, sometimes called Jamaica ebony. The body is made from deal and the drawer interiors of oak. (V&A grant purchase). Cannon Hall Museum collection.


Cawthorne title deed mentioning coal mining, 1343

This 14th century document on parchment records the sale of land at Cawthorne by Thomas, son of Dyonisia, to Nicholas Costnoght. It also crucially mentions a pasture with coal deposits that can be extracted. As such, it is the earliest surviving document in our archive collections referring to coal.


The Beggar Girls

The Beggar Girls' by Pierre Auguste Cot (1837-1883). Oil on canvas. Cot studied in Toulouse then based himself in Paris. His classical style was popular and he became a great success in Europe and America. Cooper Gallery Trustees collection.


Rudyard Kipling letter, 1912

Barnsley Librarian and author Frank Taylor was an expert on Yorkshire dialect and corresponded with many authors from around the world. This response came from Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling in 1912, just a few weeks after the sinking of the Titanic.


Coal not Dole Helmet

Helmet, Women Against Pit Closures, 1984-85. From the Miners' Strike, this helmet is a strong visual reminder of one of the most troubled times in Barnsley's modern history. Experience Barnsley Museum collection.


Elsecar Colliery day book, 1839

This day book from Elsecar Old Colliery details the individual labourers who worked at the pit and what they earnt. Surviving coalmining employee records from this period are rare and a great source for family historians tracing mining ancestors.


'Flowerpiece', Jan van Huysum (1682-1749)

Oil on canvas. A brilliantly colourful example of a Dutch masterpiece. Van Huysum was from Amsterdam and was an internationally famous in his own lifetime. More fine examples of his work can e seen in the National Gallery, London and the Louvre, Paris. Cannon Hall Museum collection.


Barnsley Board of Health map, 1856

This wonderful map of the Township of Barnsley was surveyed for the purposes of the Board of Health and dates back to 1856. It includes a tremendous amount of information about the layout of Barnsley and its buildings in the period before large scale Ordnance Survey maps.


'Study of a Seated Boy' Adriaen van de Velde (1636 - 1672)

Pencil and wash on paper. Van de Velde was from Amsterdam and specialised in landscapes featuring figures and animals. He was employed by other artists to supply figures for their paintings. This study shows his talent in creating a simple but poignant drawing. Cooper Gallery Trustees collection.