Heritage Collection

Archive and Heritage Collection
The Royal Voluntary Service Heritage Collection was formed in 1958, the organisation's twentieth anniversary, to gather together and keep safe records which were of long term historical importance.

Since then our Heritage Collection has been collecting material both from within the organisation and from our volunteers around the United Kingdom and overseas to tell the amazing story of over one million women and men who have given extraordinary service to their communities and helped shape British society.

The collection now includes approximately two million documents, nearly 15,000 photographs and thousands of unique items of uniform and objects.

In 2010 the WVS and WRVS narrative reports, which form a significant part of the Royal Voluntary Service Heritage Collection, were awarded UK Memory of the world status by the United Nations educational, cultural and scientific organisation UNESCO and are considered to be of outstanding importance and value to the UK.

You can find out more about the Narrative Reports by looking at our fact sheets or the UK Memory of the World Register.

Keep up to date with news and information about the Royal Voluntary Service Heritage Collection in our Heritage Blog.


80 years in pictures

See our remarkable story through a collection of photographs from our Heritage Collection and today's volunteers in action.

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Royal Voluntary Service...

...is a national charity built on local volunteering, giving support to people to meet the needs of the day in the NHS and in our communities.

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