Skip to main content

Heritage Collection

The Royal Voluntary Service Heritage Collection was formed in 1958, the organisation's 20th anniversary, to gather together and keep safe records which were of long-term historical importance.

Today, our Heritage Collection tells the amazing story of over 1 million women and men who have given extraordinary service to their communities and helped shape British society.

The collection now includes approximately 2 million documents, nearly 15,000 photographs and thousands of unique items of uniform and objects.

Our 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.


Accessing the Heritage Collection

Find out more about our remarkable history.

Heritage Online

This searchable online catalogue contains listings of a selection of historical material housed in our Heritage Collection.

Take me there

80 years in pictures

See our story through photographs from our Heritage Collection and today's volunteers in action in our Gift of Time online exhibition.

Take me there

Donating to the collection

Every year our collection grows with donations of documents, photographs, badges, uniform and other items.

Take me there