Social History

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum cares for a wealth of fascinating objects that reflect the changing pattern of social, domestic, working and community life in Rugby and the borough.

One of the key areas of the collection features objects relating to Rugby’s industrial heritage, including objects from electrical engineering sites such as British Thomson Houston and Willans Works, as well as spark plug manufacturers such as Lodge Plugs.
Objects from the collection are currently displayed in a changing programme of exhibitions in our temporary social history gallery.

Reddings Photographic Studio Collection

Around 25,000 negatives from Reddings Photographic Studio were donated to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum by Graham Wiseman (1945 - 2009). The studio opened in 1912 and remained in the town until 2008.

Our collection spans the years 1958 to the mid-1970s and was taken by the photographer Rodney Huntingford (1906-2003), who owned the studio during this time. 

The collection is a unique document of Rugby through portraiture, landscape, special events and everyday life.

Object Donations

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum collects objects which are relevant to the history of the borough of Rugby.
If you would like to get in touch about a donation, please email details of your object(s) with photographs to or call 01788 533201

Once your offer has been received it will be reviewed by the appropriate staff member.

Please note the museum does not accept:
  • Material on long-term loan.
  • Donations with specific conditions attached.
  • Hazardous objects or substances
  • Objects in poor condition
  • Objects that do not fit with our current collecting policy (link to pdf of policy)
  • Duplications of objects we already have.
We respectfully ask that you do not post or bring items in before discussing your offer with us.

If your object is something we might be interested in, you will be contacted by a member of staff to arrange an appointment to assess the object(s).

As part of the donation, you will be asked to sign a transfer of title form. This formalises the donation of the objects and transfers full ownership to Rugby Borough Council.