Roots and Futures

Type:Art Exhibition

Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 8RY
Credit - Community-contributed image to the Roots and Futures project


Memories and stories from the diverse communities in Netherthorpe, Upperthorpe, Kelham Island and Neepsend will celebrate Sheffield heritage in a new exhibition.

The areas north of Sheffield city centre are mostly famous for their industrial heritage, however the exhibition 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.

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.”

Access the web app here:

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.

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 here:

Roots and Futures has been supported by the National Productivity Investment Fund and the Higher Education Innovation Fund in addition to funding for this exhibition from the University of Sheffield's Public Engagement Development Fund designed to support academics bringing their research to the general public.

The Roots and Futures project

Roots and Futures is a collaboration between archaeologists at the University of Sheffield, community-based organisations Zest and KINCA, Kelham Island Museum, and heritage consultants at Ecus. The project explores the links between history, place and health and wellbeing by supporting and empowering local people to share their memories of Upperthorpe, Netherthorpe, Neepsend and Kelham Island.

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Map & Directions

Opening Times

Season (25 Aug 2021 - 26 Nov 2021)

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Kelham Island Museum, SheffieldKelham Island Museum houses objects, pictures and archives representing Sheffield's story and reveals the sights and sounds of industrial Sheffield.

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