Samuel Cooper inherited a large fortune from his father's coal mining enterprises and spent a considerable amount of it on paintings and sculptures during the 1860s when he visited countries in Europe, including Italy and France.
Cooper left much of his art collection to the people of Barnsley on his death, and set up the town's Cooper Gallery in the hope that people would benefit from seeing what he brought back to Britain.
The paperwork which related to his purchases had been kept in the South Yorkshire archive in Sheffield, but have now been returned to Barnsley for the exhibition, which is called Revealed – The History, The Stories, The Collection.
A spokesman for Barnsley Council, which runs the gallery said: "The Cooper Gallery and Barnsley Archives are delighted that the documents, letters and archive materials from Cooper's travels have been re-homed from Sheffield, back to Barnsley."
The exhibition opens at the Cooper Gallery, on Church Street, Barnsley, on Saturday January 15 and will run until Friday March 5. Entry is free.