Open Stores

Step “behind the scenes” into the Open Store and see some fascinating objects stored in our collections

Beamish Unlimited

The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our number one priority and we’ve introduced additional COVID-19 Secure health and hygiene measures across the museum.

You’ll be able to go into most of our museum exhibits and we’ve introduced one-way systems to help the visitor flow and to ensure your safety, please follow the signs. We will be opening up other areas as and when we are able to, with everyone’s safety as our top priority. Wherever possible, we’ll open up doors of exhibits you can’t yet go into, so you can still look inside. For more information about visiting the museum please click here.

Step “behind the scenes” into the Open Stores which feature fascinating objects from our collections.

Beamish’s collections have been built up over several decades, starting in the late 1950s, with the museum’s founder Frank Atkinson’s policy of “unselective collecting” – “you offer it, we’ll collect it”.

People from across the North East – and further afield – have donated objects which help us tell the story of everyday life in the region.

Visitors can step “behind the scenes” into the Open Stores in the Regional Resource Centre and see these fascinating objects in our collections. The Open Stores contain items from a range of eras, which spark memories and discussions between the generations of visitors we welcome every day.

Unlike most museums however, our collection, including domestic, rural, transport and industrial objects, aren’t just kept in glass cases, they are already in use and on display around the museum.

Beamish also has about two million photographs, 60,000 books, 10,000 trade catalogues, 30,000 periodicals and thousands of items of ephemera, such as documents, cards, family and business records.