The History of Our Collection

Thomas Storey’s Vision

Kli?, Karel, 1841-1926; Sir Thomas Storey (1825-1898)

Sir Thomas Storey (1825 – 1898), Karel Klíč (1841 – 1926)

Many of our objects were transferred from the Storey Institute.

The Library and Mechanics’ Institute was opened in 1824 in Mary Street and was then re-established in 1891 as the Storey Institute, complete with new, purpose-built facilities which were built to a design by Paley, Austin and Paley. It was paid for by Thomas Storey and donated to the town in 1893 as a technical and science school, newsroom, library, art school, gallery, and venue for musical recitals.

Thomas Storey’s vision was to give future generations a better chance at improving their lives through education and access to culture through ‘the promotion of art, science, literature, and technical instruction’.

In 1904, Thomas’ son Herbert gave £10,000 to extend the Institute up Castle Hill..

Eventually, the permanent art collection was transferred to the Lancaster City Museum upon the re-purposing of the Storey Institute building. It has constantly been enrichened ever since.

Our collection tells the stories of our people. Those who made Lancaster what it is today, and those whose lives were influenced in some way by the development of the area. More recently, we have begun to change the way we collect to ensure that the narrative of Lancaster City Museums better reflects the wonderfully diverse communities that have come to thrive within the Lancaster district.