The Bulletin project

The Bulletin project The Bulletin project is part of Royal Voluntary Service’s on-going commitment to developing and opening up access to its archive collection and is its first significant piece of digitisation work, making the stories of WVS and WRVS volunteers accessible to all.

The Bulletin project has for the first time enabled us to place text searchable, downloadable versions of the original documents online meaning that you can search each issue for places, people and activities, or anything else you can think of, for free.

Making the Bulletins available for free was an important part of the project for Royal Voluntary Service and goes to the very core of the charity’s philosophy and its founder’s vision. We have always been at the forefront of developing services for those in need and have always been willing to share our knowledge with others.

Our desire to share information in an easy and accessible way and using modern tools to facilitate access for all has led us to make of more than 2.5 million searchable words on 8,444 pages of content available for online access. While this sounds a lot, it actually represents just 0.05% of our collection, but we hope this is just the beginning of our efforts to make more of our archive available this way.

One of the biggest tasks of the project was trying to trace over 700 authors of articles in the Bulletin. Many were written by WVS/WRVS members but other were penned by people outside the organisation, such as the Bishop of Norwich, the US Ambassador to Britain, or extracted from newspapers; all of whom we have endeavoured to contact. All of those who gave their permission for the reproduction and distribution of their material are listed on the copyright and reproduction page.

We still have a long way to go to digitise our whole collection and make it more accessible, but this is, we hope you will agree, a very good beginning!