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Outside the Box

Bringing the Waller Collection to life

Outside the BoxThe Waller collection was deposited at the County Record Office as a loan by Lady Viola Waller during the 1940s and 50s. It was put up for sale by her descendants in October 2005 and the County Record Office purchased the archive in 2007 with help from various funding bodies, local groups, organisations and individuals.

The Outside the Box project was created in order to coordinate the purchase, care and use of the collection and ran until the end of December 2009.

You can read more about the Waller Collection here, and find out about characters from the collection escape from the box on the Discover more about Mrs Mary Wise page.

Preserving a toilProject aims


  • To clean and repair all documents in the collection
  • To re-package and re-box the collection


  • Anna Jarrett letterTo improve accessibility to the collection with a more informative and easy to use catalogue.
  • To catalogue previously un-catalogued items.
  • To make items from the new catalogue available online.
  • To help with this, a team of volunteers have been working from home to transcribe items from the collection, so that an easy to read, typescript version can accompany each image of an original document online.

Events and activities

  • Use the Waller collection as a springboard for an innovative, creative and fun programme of activities and events.
  • To reach out to new audiences.
  • To raise the profile of archives in Warwickshire communities.
  • To develop relationships with community groups interested in archives.

Events programme travelling exhibition

A travelling exhibition inspired by the Waller Collection visited a variety of venues around Warwickshire. Shining a spotlight on family relationships, colourful characters, privileged lifestyles and historic homes, this exhibition brings the Wise and Waller families to life. The colourful, free-standing banners can be displayed individually or as part of a set, depending on the size of the venue they are visiting.

If your organisation is interested in hosting one or more of the banners, please call 01926 738959.

Working with communities

The Waller family had particularly strong links to the communities of Leek Wootton and Lillington, so the Outside the Box Project worked with these two communities in particular.

We have already established good links with members of the Leek Wootton and Lillington communities and are keen to develop these further, with projects specific to each area and local activities based on the Waller collection. The project also worked to provide quality learning to school children in Leek Wootton and Lillington, beginning with a Super Learning Day at Leek Wootton All Saints School.

As well as work focusing on these two communities, the Outside the Box team was out and about in the Warwick area, giving talks and setting up travelling exhibitions.

Heritage Culture Accredited Archive Service

Warwickshire County Records Office

Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday 9am to 4pm, Saturday 9am to 12 noon.

Address: Warwickshire County Record Office Priory Park Cape Road Warwick CV34 4JS

Telephone: 01926 738959