Heritage and Culture Warwickshire's Social History Collections


Social History collection

This collection consists of domestic and working life objects featuring items used in the homes and workplaces of Warwickshire people from the 18th century to the present day. This includes a wide range of materials from teapots to agricultural implements including:

  • Equipment used by Warwickshire people in their working life both at home and local industries
  • Objects reflective of the growth of communities within Warwickshire, including public utilities, entertainment and development, and availability of technology.

Costume and Textiles

We have a regionally important costume and textiles collection featuring objects from the 17th century to the present day.

These include:

  • Children’s costume including girls and boys clothes from the late 18th century to the present day
  • Women’s dresses from the 18th century to the present day, with particular concentration from 1850 to 1950

Highlights include:

  • A Gentleman’s shirt belonging to a Hartshill family from 1600 to 1615
  • A 17th century casket decorated with embroidery which belonged to a North Warwickshire family
  • Clothing designed by Mary Quant

Dolls, Toys and Games

Our extensive collection of dolls, toys and games dates from the late 18th century to the present day. The core of the collection belonged to Hilda May Hill in the early 20th century,

it was developed by her daughter Joy Robinson, who opened the Warwick Doll Museum in 1955. The collection became the responsibility of the Warwickshire Museum Service in 1987 and has since grown with the addition of the Cyril Hobbins Collection of toys and games.

The collection includes:

  • Toys made in Warwick by German Prisoners of War during the Second World War
  • Wooden dolls made during the 18th Century
  • Pedlar dolls from the 19th century
  • Contemporary toys wished for and played with by Warwickshire boys and girls including Action Man and Star Wars figures.
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