CollectionsOur collection is made up of many types of material including the following:

Headquarters files

  • Minute books
  • Internal policy documents (1938 onwards)
  • Correspondence relating to various services (1938 onwards
  • Correspondence with government, other charities and organisations
  • Reports and correspondence with regional and county offices (1938 to 1990s)

Narrative Reports

  • Detailed monthly reports on the activities of WVS and WRVS centres throughout Great Britain (1938-1993)

Statistical returns

  • Set of detailed statistical returns for all regions of WVS (1939-1945)
  • Statistics for post war period to present

Local and regional office records

  • Correspondence and diaries
  • Day books (detailed logs of individual centres hourly activities)
  • Minute books
  • Accounts
  • Newspaper cuttings and scrap books

Personal deposits

  • Materials deposited by individuals and relatives, some containing detailed descriptions of their work with WVS or WRVS as well as photographs and other related material

Books, articles and dissertations

  • Books written about WVS and/or WRVS
  • Books featuring articles about WVS and/or WRVS
  • Academic journal articles
  • Undergraduate and graduate dissertations

Newspaper cuttings

  • At both national and local level


  • Loose photographs organised by subject (1938 to present)
  • Albums relating to specific services or WVS and WRVS centres (1938 to present)


  • Publicity and recruitment posters (mainly from the 1950s to 1980s)

WVS and WRVS Bulletin/Magazine

  • A full series from November 1939 to present


  • 16mm film reel, training films (1950s and 1960s)
  • Reel-to-reel, cassette tapes, LP records. Lady Reading's speeches to the BBC (1940s to 1960s)
  • Fairchild projector tapes, 1980s training aids
  • VHS videos, training, publicity, WRVS features (1980s and 1990s)

Uniforms and badges

  • Uniforms including hats, coats, scarves, shoes, handbags, dresses, skirts, jackets, blouses, tabards and overalls (1938 to present)
  • Badges and insignia, cloth and metal (1938 to present)

Memorabilia and other artefacts

  • Emergency feeding equipment
  • Models and training aids
  • Helmets and gas masks
  • Ceremonial robes
  • Gifts and presents
  • Commemorative and everyday china
  • Flags, banners and other textiles

Records of other related organisations

  • WVS India
  • WVS/WRVS Trust
  • WRVS Association
  • WRVS Benevolent Trust

And much more…

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