In 1902 Henry Syer Cuming left the collection to the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark after his death, he have left the sum of money to employ the curator. The artefacts were donated to the museum by local people and collectors, over 25,000 artefacts.
The museum offers a range of education and learning programme for primary schools and adults as well as putting on special events in connection with the latest temporary exhibitions which it has on.
All events and talks in The Cuming Museum are for free. The talks are by volunteers and people doing work placements. The museum is the creator of all the face to face resources. Sessions are free for Southwark LEA ( Local Education Authority ) and grant maintained schools. £1.50 per child for out of borough and independent schools.
Most temporary exhibitions are funded externally. In the past this has included funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, MLA ( Museum Libraries Archieve ) and Rennaissance. Collaborative partnerships have included the Museum of London, Imperial War Museum, London College of Communications, Horniman Museum, Carnaval Del Pueblo, Millwall Football Club Museum, Peckham EAZ, Elephant Links, Metropolitan Archives, Carl Campbell Dance Company 7, Castle Day Centre, COPUS, London Museums, Libraries and Archives, London Underground, Southwark College, Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Excavation Committee, Southwark Age Concern, Sure Start Plus, Southwark Alliance, and a large number of community groups and schools across Southwark.
Southwark Council’s Cuming Museum has their own Youth Panel – The Cuming Museum Youth Panel is a group of 14 to 19 year olds who use the Cuming Museum and Southwark’s historic collections as inspiration for their own creative projects.