North Sheffield communities share memories and stories of local heritage at new exhibition

Communities built up around some of Sheffield's best known former industrial areas are set to be celebrated in a new exhibition.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 4:56 pm

Netherthorpe, Upperthorpe, Kelham Island and Neepsend, north of Sheffield city centre, are mostly famous for their industrial heritage. But the exhibition at Kelham Island Museum will explore a lot more than the industrial boom that put Sheffield on the map.

North Sheffield has been occupied since prehistory and today is home to diverse communities witnessing a changing landscape, especially with the rapid re-development of Kelham Island over the past decades.

Roots and Futures is a collaboration between community groups, heritage organisations and the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. Since 2020, the department has been working with the communities to share their memories and stories, and to learn about the heritage that really matters to the people of the city.

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Credit - Community-contributed image to the Roots and Futures project

The well known archaeology department is due to close, after a decision made earlier this summer by the university, although elements of the subject will still be taught by other departments.

Dr Elizabeth Craig-Atkins from the Department of Archaeology, said: “Through the stories told to us by project participants, Roots and Futures sheds light on the aspects of archaeology and history that are most important and meaningful to Sheffield communities today. We are still learning about the amazing people, events and objects that shape local histories and still want people to contribute to the Roots and Futures project by sharing their images and stories using our project web app, where there are also lots of resources for exploring the historic landscape and buildings around the area.

The web app can be found by logging onto

The exhibition will integrate new digital content from the project which has been curated in collaboration with communities, and focuses on themes of places, things, stories, artwork and people.

Kelham Island Goit

This will be combined with Kelham Island Museum’s physical exhibitions, embedding a virtual tour of the experiences of local communities into a physical tour of the industrial heritage of the city. Visitors can use tablets or phones to explore the digital content via QR codes embedded within the museum’s physical displays.

The exhibition can also be experienced remotely by accessing content online on