Accessing Collections


The Trust welcomes members of the public to make an appointment and access the diverse range of collections we hold.

A Reading Room is available by advance appointment at The Grange in Street free of charge to researchers who wish to consult collections held by the Trust.

In advance of your visit the collections team will help identify material to aid your research, whether it is for academic research or for local, family or business history or personal interest.

The wealth of collections can support a range of research across local and family history, the history of Clarks and the shoemaking industry, costume and fashion history, Quakerism in Street and social history.

Planning your research visit

It is essential that you contact the Trust in advance of any planned visits so staff can ensure that material of relevance is available and a member of collections staff is on-site to help you during your visit. Some collections are stored off-site and may require a minimum of 48 hours’ notice before availability. Please bring some photographic ID and proof of current address with you. On your initial visit, you will be asked to register as a reader by completing a Reader Registration Form.

Using the collections

After you have registered, Trust staff will be able to advise on the material that you wish to consult and all materials must be selected in advance of your visit. Due to commercial sensitivities and to data protection and copyright legislation, some items are closed to the public. Please speak to one of the collections team if you have any queries on this topic.


The Trust also provides a reproduction and digitisation service offering physical and digital copies of objects and archives held in the collection. Items can be digitally photographed or scanned using archival standard equipment by professional photographers in the in-house studio. High-quality digital images can be provided in a range of file formats and resolutions to suit the nature of the request.

Remote Enquiry Service

If researchers are unable to consult the objects or archives required in person, the Trust can operate a research and copy service on their behalf, with the first hour of research offered free of charge. Please see Research Services Leaflet 2021-2022 options and contact us to discuss your proposed research topic.


In recent years, the Trust has lent items from its collections to other museums for exhibition, engaging with new narratives and wider audiences. Further information about the standard terms under which the Trust lends collections can be found in our Loans Policy.