Museum Collections

The objects in our collections are mostly related to the social and industrial history of West Lothian from the late nineteenth century to the present day.

Some of the highlights of the collection are listed below. A selection of images from our collection can be found on West Lothian Heritage Services' Flickr page.

battery and lampMining

West Lothian has a considerable heritage of mining both coal and shale. We have a collection of small objects related to the coal mining community of Whitburn and the shale mining industry in the Broxburn area.

Larger collections including items of machinery can be seen at the Scottish Mining Museum and Almond Valley Heritage Centre.

civic robeCivic Collection

When the burghs of Armadale, Bathgate, Linlithgow and Whitburn disappeared in 1975, their colourful robes and historic chains of office came into the possession of West Lothian District Council and so into the care of the Museums Service. We also have County of Linlithgow weights and measures and memorabilia of Livingston Development Corporation.


gardeners charter boxFriendly Societies

Many local people paid into friendly societies to provide sickness benefits in the days before the welfare state. These societies were also social organisations and held annual parades, where the members wore colourful regalia and carried large banners. We are lucky to have a large collection of banners and regalia associated with societies in Bathgate and Armadale.


funeral cardSocial and Industrial Life

We hold a wide range of social, domestic and industrial items such as wartime ARP equipment, delicate embroidery, flat irons, carpet beaters and shovels from the Chieftain Forge in Bathgate.



We do not have a large archaeology collection but are building up a small holding from the periods associated with Cairnpapple Hill. We are an approved museum for receiving items of Treasure Trove.



vesta caseBathgate and Linlithgow

Larger collections relating to these two former burghs can be found in the care of the Bennie Museum and Linlithgow Museum. The museum is now open in Linlithgow Partnership Centre.

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