The National Leather Collection

A year in review!

Written by Victoria Green

The end of the year is already in sight, and with Christmas just days away we’ve gotten all reflective. Amongst the mince pies, mulled wine and turkey dinners, the holiday season is one of review. And what a year it’s been!

2018 has been particularly special for the National Leather Collection. We opened our doors to the public in January, and for the first time were able to offer regular visiting hours. We were even able to extend our opening hours from September, to include Saturdays! The museum began to look and feel like a heritage visitor attraction for the first time in forty years with exhibitions, volunteers, and visitors.

Over the course of the year we have welcomed guests from all over; locals from Northampton, and tourists from as far away as Asia. We’ve hosted groups, talks, tours, workshops, special events, and gotten more people in Northampton talking about leather than ever before! We’ve met people passionate about leather and leather-crafting, and those who thought leather was just for bags and shoes.

The museum has also worked in partnership with many different national and international organisations to deliver a number of exciting new events and experiences. Tandy USA sponsored a fully equipped leather-crafting corner, and enabled us to host a regular crafting group. Being Human Festival funded our three-day Origins of Leather event, and allowed us to introduce our collection to a wider audience. Additionally, Nenescape have funded our Telling the Story of Leather archival project to digitise our entire leather archive, due to launch in 2019.

If you’d like to learn more about what we’ve achieved this past year, and how we’re looking to the future, please watch the video below! We’ve had a very exciting 2018, so let’s hope 2019 is just as successful.

From all of the staff, trustees and friends of the National Leather Collection, we wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!

This piece was produced by One to One Development Trust for Nenescape: 900 Voices. Their project is aiming to create an online archive that gathers stories about the River, as well as images, music and poetry. The National Leather Collection filmed a short piece with One to One, telling the story of the collection, and the story of the museum itself. Our curator, Philip Warner, and Assistant Curator, Victoria Green, talk about how the museum has developed over the past year, and share their aspirations for the next one.

Don’t forget! The National Leather Collection will be closed over the Christmas period until February 2019. For full information on our amended opening hours, please click here.