The Musée d’histoire de Nantes regroups the collections of six former museums: the Musée d’Art décoratif, the Musée d’Art populaire régional, the Musée des Salorges, the Musée de Nantes par l’image, the Musée colonial du Château du Grand Blottereau and the Musée d’art religieux.
This permanent collection comprises over 32,000 objects. Over 1,150 of them are on display.
When developing the Musée d’histoire with a view to its reopening in 2007, the Château des ducs de Bretagne undertook a very significant acquisition campaign. Its sought to fill the gaps in a museum itinerary designed on the basis of a historical discourse and not on the basis of the collections that existed. Many acquisitions were made and when the museum opened in 2007, a quarter of the objects on display had been acquired since 1993.
With the permanent itinerary created, the acquisition policy since 2007 has focused on enriching collections in two ways:
• Opportunistic acquisitions aimed at enhancing the collection in relation to two main themes: the history of Nantes and the region from the 16th century to today, and the history of the Château.
• A major collection drive targeting local people (started in 2008) on the theme of the two world wars. This aimed to supplement the last section of the museum itinerary that explores modern history. As a result of the drive, 1,500 objects and archives documenting the two wars were added to the collection and allowed the revision of rooms in June 2016.
This acquisition policy corresponds to this museum’s singular spirit – a museum that has been constantly evolving and questioning itself since its creation. A museum that offers a global vision of history, exploring topics of major importance, like the slave trade and both World Wars. In order to truly exist in the present and examine the historical process of urbanization of our beloved Nantes, the future wealth of our collections also needs the help of individuals like you.