You’ve enjoyed the stories, you’ve seen the images and you have read
all the publicity but how did we get to the stage where we are ready to digitise
the diaries telling the story of WVS volunteers during the Second World War?
Originally the diaries sent to the Archives from the 1950s were stored
on folders like those in the photograph.
stories of our wartime women were carefully repackaged and catalogued by a team
of volunteers with the help of a cataloguing co-ordinator between 2010 and
repackaging volunteers often enjoy sharing the stories of a million wartime
women such as this one from Alton Urban & Rural, Hampshire, February 1943:
‘Last week a wedding by special license took
place in one of the villages and in the absence of the Bride’s father and the
illness of her mother she specifically asked if she could have a member of WVS
in uniform to give her away!!! Is there any vacancy we cannot fill!!!’
now live in Acid Free Folders and Boxes in our Archive and you can research
which areas have surviving diaries by searching our online catalogue.
step is digitisation, the process of capturing objects, paper documents,
analogue material and traditional archives in a digital format, such as WAV,
PDF or TIFF depending on the item being digitised.
We will be
creating high resolution digital images of the documents containing the stories
we’ve shared with you and many others using a digital camera. Each document
will be captured individually and prepared for online use and research.
collection of 28,000 fragile pieces of paper has been digitised it will be made
available for everyone to view on the Royal Voluntary Service website. This will help to preserve the originals and
spread stories like this one around the world:
Sussex, May 1944
WVS Clothing Exchange 1st
Report. We opened on January 25th, 1944 with an attendance of 5 and
with a staff of three helpers. The exchange of clothing from infancy to 16
years covers a wide range. Rapidly increasing numbers necessitated more staff
and we are very fortunate in securing keen and enthusiastic helpers.
Great care is taken to see that all clothing
brought for exchange is absolutely clean and in good repair.
The total number of names on our register on
June 1st is 313 and our clients are so satisfied that they come
again and bring their friends.
To find out
more about how these records will be made publically available watch our
Kickstarter video where Archivist Matthew McMurray explains all.
Just over £24,000 has
now been pledged thank you to all those who have supported us already and spread the word through social media but we
still need help to reach £25,000. If you would like to help us achieve our goal
please pledge at Kickstarter Hidden histories of a million wartime women or spread the word and support our Thunderclap.