Collections are the life-blood of any museum or archive and Milton Keynes Council and all its major museum and archive partners within the Heritage MK Consortium each operate a collections strategy for their museum, archaeology, art, public art and archive collections.
In 2011, thanks to additional funding from Milton Keynes Council and Heritage Lottery Fund, these partners initiated a four-year joint collections programme to provide shared specialised training and collections care. This programme still operates today to catalogue and digitise our significant collections to make them accessible to the public. Members of the public can donate material by contacting the relevant partner who will then advise on that donation.
In 2015, Milton Keynes Council and MK Museum agreed to work together to develop a City Museum for Milton Keynes where the full story of our city and borough could be told at a single venue. Milton Keynes is unique and has some amazing museum collections, but until now had nowhere large enough to exhibit them within the environmental and secure conditions they needed.
Today, MK Museum is being transformed with a new storage facility for the borough’s museum, art and archaeology collections and two major new exhibition galleries – the ‘Ancient Gallery’ to exhibit our amazing archaeology and important historic story and the ‘New Town Gallery’ to showcase the birth of a new UK city on a scale not seen before or since in Europe and to help inform our citizens to prepare, participate in and design its exciting future.
The Museum continues to remain open to its many visitors and the planned Expansion is expected to complete in 2020. The Council has relocated its important museum collections to the museum site and as part of the project agreed from 1 April 2018 to jointly collect and own collections to provide the best public collection possible for Milton Keynes. For more information and to keep updated on one of the most exciting developments for Milton Keynes, visit the MK Museum website.
Currently Milton Keynes Council and Buckinghamshire County Council jointly look after the historic and new town archives of Milton Keynes through a Joint Arrangement, with the collections based at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies in Aylesbury.
Following extensive planning and scoping work, Milton Keynes Council with Bucks CC, MK City Discovery Centre and Living Archive are exploring the potential of creating a City Archive for Milton Keynes. Together under ‘MK Archive’, the partners bring together the full archival story of the building of Milton Keynes through official and personal papers and photographs, film, video and oral histories that chart the social history of the pioneers, citizens and newcomers to Milton Keynes that have made it their home.
An innovative new two-year pilot archive service is being finalised by the partners for summer 2019 at the current Central Library which will trial an integrated archives and library service to cover archives, local studies, reference, events, exhibitions, outreach and activity. The co-created programme will offer old and new activities for all audiences and ask those who participate what they like and what they would wish to see from a future City Archive.
This public input will then inform the Phase 2 planning, development and building of that Archive to house our internationally significant archival heritage, providing an amazing global resource both for our residents and for city planners, urban designers, foreign delegations and researchers from across the world. For more information on activities and events planned for MK Archive, visit the Libraries home page.
Milton Keynes Heritage Guide
Listing everything you need to know about heritage in Milton Keynes. Download the Heritage Guide (PDF, 831KB)
Milton Keynes Heritage Means Business
If you are a business, the Heritage MK partners would like to hear from you to help them bring our amazing heritage to life for our residents and visitors - download the Heritage Means Business (PDF, 2.9MB) for more information.
Last Updated: 6 July 2021