Southam's Cardall Collection

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Southam's Cardall Collection
Housed at Southam, Warwickshire, England
Curators Friends of the Cardall Collection

Southam's Cardall Collection contains artefacts, documents, and photographs relating to the history of the town of Southam, Warwickshire, England, including its people, and the surrounding villages.[1]

Since 2006, the Collection has been managed by a team of volunteers, The Friends of the Cardall Collection.[2] However, the collection is at risk because it does not have a suitable, permanent home. The Friends of the Cardall Collection's primary aim is to establish a permanent home for the collection within Southam town centre, to enable it to be used for the benefit of the wider community. Members of the Friends are interested in the history of Southam and its surrounding villages.[1]


The collection was started by the late Jack Cardall, and his widow, Rene, continued this work until her death in 2007.[3] It contains in excess of 4,500 items. In addition, there is a photographic archive, largely donated by a local historian, that contains over 1,500 negatives and slides, and 450 unique glass negatives taken by an amateur photographer in the early days of the 20th century.[1]

Southam is a historic market town in Warwickshire, England, and has many unique and ancient buildings.[4] Located on major north/south and east/west routes, it was for many years a bustling transport and trading hub, particularly in the era before railways.[citation needed]

Current projects[edit]

The Friends' current projects include:[1]

Documenting the collection[edit]

  • Identifying, recording and describing all items
  • Creating a computer database of items
  • Scanning all documents
  • Photographing all objects
  • Digitising all photographic material

Outreach activities[edit]

  • Working with local schools and colleges
  • Working with retirement homes and similar organisations
  • Walk & Talk events
  • Presentations for local groups
  • Exhibitions and displays
  • Partnership with Southam Fire Service and Southam Primary Schools

Oral history[edit]

  • Digitally recording information and memories of local people
  • Creation and sale of oral history CDs

Other recent activities[edit]

  • Helping with a television documentary about one of Southam’s historic buildings.
  • Introducing Exchange Students to the town.
  • Taking part in local community events
  • Dealing with enquiries about local history
  • Partnership working with local artists[5] and historians

Future plans[edit]

  • To expand the Collection
  • To widen access to the Collection
  • To encourage the involvement of younger people using the internet and social media
  • To assist schools with their local history study
  • To raise awareness and engage local people with Southam’s historic past
  • To make the Collection work for Southam in terms of increased tourism and trade[6]

Funding and support[edit]

The Friends of Southam's Cardall Collection receives support from the Warwickshire Community Museum’s Officer, including advice, training and information about funding opportunities.[citation needed] The work of the Friends is funded by donations, membership subscriptions, sales of small items, and small grants from awarding bodies. The Group has had some success with applications for small grants for specific projects. Computer equipment, scanners, lighting equipment, projectors, etc. have been acquired to support community work and to carry out the conservation work that underpins the group's activities. However, to pay for running costs (rent, rates, electricity, water,) volunteers also have to concentrate on revenue earning projects.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Cardall Collection (2010). A Heritage Centre for Southam. UK: Friends of the Cardall Collection. 
  2. ^ Cadogan, Bernard. "Community Archives". Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Last call before collection is sold". The Courier, Leamington Spa. 26 February 2008. 
  4. ^ "The Megalithic Portal". Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Hughes, Ryan. "Artist in Residency's blog". Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Southam First". Retrieved 15 March 2012. 

External links[edit]