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- Brontë Parsonage Museum Designated Arts Council England Outstanding Collection

The Brontë Parsonage Museum becomes the 155th Designated Collection
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The Brontë Parsonage Museum has become the 155th Designated Collection in England, celebrating the outstanding compilation of items belonging to and created by the Brontë family found in their family home in Haworth, Yorkshire. The only museum awarded designation by Arts Council England [ACE] this year, the scheme celebrates the richness and diversity of collections across England’s regions.
Rebecca Yorke, Director of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: “The Brontë Society was founded in 1893 with the purpose of establishing a museum to promote interest in the life and works of the Brontë family.  Since then, our collections of Brontë manuscripts, furniture, clothing and personal possessions – the largest in the world – have continued to fascinate and inspire generations of visitors.  We are pleased beyond measure by Arts Council England’s decision to designate our collection as Outstanding, and believe our founders of 130 years ago would have felt just as proud of this achievement as we do today.”

The Brontë Parsonage Museum collection includes over 8,000 items including handwritten letters, poems and ‘Little Books’; sketches, drawings and paintings; clothing and jewellery that belonged to Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, their brother Branwell and father Patrick. The Museum, the family’s former home, is also furnished with much of their original furniture; the dining table where they wrote, a rare 5 octave cabinet piano, art boxes and geometry sets.

Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator adds: “The Museum’s collection is a great scholarly resource, offering fascinating insights into the Brontës as writers. It also includes many of the family’s personal treasures, which remind us, in a profoundly moving way, of the Brontës as ordinary human beings. After working with this wonderful collection for many years, I’m thrilled to see its importance recognised in this way.”

The ACE Designation scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national importance held in England’s non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “I am delighted that we have awarded the Brontë Parsonage Museum with a prestigious designation award for their collection. For over 25 years, the Designation Scheme has identified the best collections held in museums, libraries and archives across England. The Brontë Parsonage joins an eclectic group of outstanding collections.

‘From humble beginnings in Yorkshire, the Brontë family have inspired generations. The museum's collection opens their world to us with personal possessions, clothing and original furniture, all housed in the Brontë family home. This award will raise the profile of the collection nationally and internationally, enriching the lives of many more people to come – congratulations!”

Dr Nick Merriman, Chair of the Designation Panel, said: “The Designation Scheme plays a critical role in raising the profile of nationally and internationally significant collections throughout England. We hope this spotlight safeguards them for the enjoyment and enrichment of many generations to come. I’m delighted that the scheme is recognising the outstanding importance of the Brontë Parsonage Museum collection. Popular interest in the Brontës is growing, and this is reflected in recent acquisitions and use of the collection.”

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies responsible for administering the Government’s unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, of which we delivered over £1 billion to the sector in grants and loans. Find out more at
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