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It has been over a year since I last posted and so much has happened since then that I thought I would write an update and tell you all about it.
Last time I posted I was working on cataloguing the 400 files for Ipswich, which I have now completed. I am no longer grappling with what seemed like thousands of staples and pins, but instead taking the time to repackage and re-box the files, improving their condition. As our enquiry service has now opened, I have been helping to answer some of the questions asked which gives me a great opportunity to delve in and use the collection!
The main event however, was the 75th Anniversary, which gave me the chance to help with preparations. I created display boards detailing the history of the organisation and helped write the descriptions for the 75 objects timeline. The greatest opportunity however, came during the Anniversary Service at St Pauls where I was given the task of carrying the Roll of Honour down the aisle. I felt so proud to be given such a responsibility and so privileged to be allowed to be a part of such an important occasion in the organisation’s history. It was an unforgettable experience and one I will always treasure.
Since my last post I have also been accepted on to the Archive and Records Management masters course at the University of Dundee and have just completed my first year of study. It was due to my voluntary experience that I secured a place, and now as I study, I receive continued support and guidance from the archivist, Matthew, who is so generous with his time, helping me with any difficulties I face. Volunteering at the archive has allowed me to put theory into practice, giving me an invaluable understanding of the role and responsibilities of an archivist in their mission to preserve and make available their collections.
I have gained so much from volunteering and have been made to feel appreciated and that the work I do genuinely makes a difference to the future of the collection. I am so glad that I applied for the opportunity and so grateful for all that has been done to help me on my way to securing a career. I never know what challenges and projects I will be involved with next and that is what is so exciting… I look forward to keeping you all updated!
Posted by Hannah Tinkler at 00:00
Friday, 27 September 2013.
Back in 2007, very shortly after I started working for WRVS (as it was then called) I was asked to compile a timeline, to celebrate our 70th anniversary. That took me over 6 months to compile (as the collection was at that stage largely uncatalogued) but it allowed me to really begin to delve into and understand the history of what is one of the most important organisations in modern British History.
For our 75th anniversary, now armed with another 5 years of knowledge and experience as well as a much better catalogued collection, we decided to embark on the creation of a new timeline, but one with a twist. 75 items later and 11,000 words of text (before it was edited), this is what we came up with.
Inspired by the brilliant BBC History of the World in 100 Objects, we digitised 75 items from our collection which vividly illustrate and tell our story covering every decade of our history.
These range from the letter sent from Sir Samuel Hoare to Lady Reading authorising her to form the WVS on 20th May 1938, through one of our nationally Important Narrative reports, telling of the difficulties encountered in Bristol during the Blitz.
Beyond our wartime origins you can find out about our development of Meals on Wheels, residential homes for the elderly, and our work for women prisoners or read a leaflet on the need for more homes for business women on small incomes.
We have also managed to find some video and audio, so you can listed to one of our volunteers in the 1980’s describing her favourite cup of tea, or watch a wonderfully dated 1997 promotional video.
I hope you find it as fun an interesting reading it as I did creating it.
See the timeline
Posted by Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist at 00:00
Tuesday, 10 September 2013.