Researching Royal Voluntary Service

Researching the history of WRVSIf you planning any research into WVS, WRVS or Royal Voluntary Service then the Royal Voluntary Service Archive & Heritage Collection is the primary source for WVS, WRVS and Royal Voluntary Service records. However there are many other places where you can also find information.

Published sources

This should be the first place to look, will give you a good overview and answer general questions you may have about the history of the organisation. You can find a list of publications about us in our fact sheets.

National collections

Most large national collections hold material on WVS and WRVS.

The National Archives hold papers relating to the formation and running of WVS and WRVS as part of the records of the Home Office and other Government departments. You can search their online catalogue

The Imperial War Museum hold a full series of the WVS and WRVS Bulletin/Magazine as well as a number of posters, uniforms, and documents relating to the history of the organisation. You can search their online catalogue

The National Archives of Scotland have a small selection of papers on WVS and WRVS. You can search their online catalogue

Local collections

Various sets of WVS and WRVS records, mostly from local centres, have found their way into County Record Offices over the years. While Individual record offices have their own catalogues, the best way to undertake a search is through the A2A catalogue. You can search their online catalogue

How to search

There has been many different ways of referring to WVS or WRVS over the years so remember to search using every possible derivation. The most common ways are as follows: WVS, W.V.S, Womens Voluntary service, Women’s Voluntary Service, Women’s Voluntary Services, WRVS, W.R.V.S, Womens Royal Voluntary Service, Women’s Royal Voluntary Service.