The Alderney Museum - Collections

Introduction

The Alderney Society Museum collection now numbers over 18,000 items. The primary source of historical record keeping on the island, the museum acts as an objects store a record centre and the archives of Alderney. We store items donated by the public and historical items requiring storage by the States of Alderney.

The collection is catalogued into several sections including German Occupation documents and objects, donated collections, artworks, Victorian age, lighthouse history, the evacuation and return of Alderney residents and early Alderney records. This is the most inclusive and largest collection of Alderney archives and objects available for public access and the contrasting mix of objects, archaeological artefacts and archival documents create an intriguing research centre.

Digital Records

The museum is in the process of digitalising its collection. Currently we can offer census records from 1841 to 1911 and the extra unofficial 1950 Alderney census. We have the facility to electronically search the Channel Island Monthly Review 1940 to 1945 for Alderney references including births and deaths. Current projects soon to be completed are digitalising the evacuation cards from 1940, digitalising the 1940 property census volumes and work on the 1830 map of Alderney. We are also getting our record database MODES ready to be online for public access searching of the museum collection.

Family History Research

If you researching your Alderney family ancestry or an aspect of Alderney's history we can help. Access to Alderney census records, 1940's records and items donated to the museum.

For all information requests please download the request form and email it to email address on the form or post to the Museum addressed to the Museum Curator.

Our largest collections include:

World War II German Occupation objects and documents. This collection is unique as Alderney was the only British dominion fully evacuated by civilians and then occupied by German forces for the duration of the war. The island was fortified to be part of Hitler's Atlantic Wall and four labour camps were built. Our collection includes first hand accounts of both Nazi soldiers posted on the island and Russian slave labourers who survived the war and later returned to Alderney to tell their histories. Military objects and documents are stored and on display whilst treasures such as trench art show an aspect of the war rarely discussed.

The return of the islanders in 1946. This collection contains all evacuation documentation and objects such as Government issued furniture, also documents that show insight into Government thinking on the clean up and re-habitation of the island. The task of finding all the residents of the island and creating a home for them on Alderney was tremendous and the collection documents meetings, test runs, and the tentative new methods used to create Alderney again.

The Elizabethan Wreck collection includes superb examples of Elizabethan standardisation of cannons and artefacts brought from the wreck by Alderney divers including armour and leather shoes which survived hundreds of years below the surface.

There are also significant collections of archaeological finds from digs funded by the Alderney Society. Newspapers and cuttings, maps and charts of Alderney and the Channel Islands, Victorian fortifications and harbour building, natural history, artworks and war medals.

Collections Policy

Acquisitions must be of objects, artefacts, documents and images that originate from, were found on, or have a close connection with the Island or members of Island families. Collecting relates only to Alderney, from its geological origins to the present. The collection area also includes the sea bed, rocks and off-islands.

The museum recognises its responsibility, in acquiring material, to ensure adequate conservation, documentation and proper use of such material.

Acquisitions outside the current stated policy will only be made in exceptional circumstances; and then only after proper consideration by the governing body of the museum itself and our Curatorial Advisor, having regard to the interests of other museums.

Further information

For more detailed information on the collection contact the curator by using the contact us form or by telephoning 01481 823222.