As of Yesterday, 14th January 2013, to celebrate its 75th Anniversary WRVS has launched an online catalogue of significant parts of its Archive & Heritage Collection as well as a free remote enquiry service. This follows over four years work to sort, catalogue and preserve this material which has up to this point been largely inaccessible.
The catalogue contains entries for over four and a half thousand photographs and 263 posters (c.1,100 with preview images available) dating from 1938 to the present day. It also has entries for around 50,000 or our Narrative Reports from 1938-1945, which were given UNESCO UK Memory of the World Status in 2010.
The enquiry service, which has been closed since 2008 to enable the cataloguing work to be undertaken, will offer up to one hour of free work for enquirers and copies of material will be available upon request (charges apply). A paid for research service is also available for those who require larger amounts of research to be done on their behalf. The free enquiry service will be staffed by a dedicated team of volunteers supervised by the WRVS's archivist, the same team who in 2012 were awarded a highly commended status in the ARA Archive Volunteer Project of the Year, for their work in turning a pile of boxes in a warehouse into one of the most important archival collections in the country.
This is the first phase in the continuing development of WRVS's collection which hopes to see the opening of a new repository and free onsite access within 5 years.
I would be most grateful if you could spread awareness of this new resource amongst anyone who might be interested, especially researchers who may come to your institutions looking for material on the WVS/WRVS.
The catalogue and enquiry service can be accessed by visiting
Matthew McMurray BA (Hons) MA
WRVS Archive & Heritage Collection
Unit 1A Bath Road Business Centre
Tel 01380 730211
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