Wednesday, 16 January 2013

WRVS archive catalogue and enquiry service launches

To celebrate its 75th Anniversary the Devizes based Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) archive has launched an online catalogue and a free remote enquiry service - the first time the service has offered such a service since 2008.

Matthew Murray, WRVS archivist states:

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.

The catalogue and enquiry service can be accessed by visiting

(With thanks to Wendy Archer and Matthew Murray)


Pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, through Pen and Sword (30 April 2013), or purchase early at Who Do You Think You Are Live 2013 in London. For my other genealogy books, please visit; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

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