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Accessioning is the process where archivists record new
additions to their collections. Over the last year we have been given over
forty new additions ranging from objects, uniform, photographs, publications,
documents and many others besides. I thought that I would share two recent examples
with you this week.
WVS Canteen Worker
On our shelves waiting to be housed in a new acid free box surrounded
by plastazote is a 12 inch tall carved
plaster statuette of a standing WVS Canteen worker in WVS uniform coat, hat,
scarf and gloves. It was sent into the Chesham
House RVS Community centre in august this year after being brought by the owner
in the 1980s from a shop called Bygones.
Pictured in this blog she is holding four cups with her
fingers through the handles in her right hand and two with the fingers of her
left. She is also holding four milk
bottles against her chest with her left arm.
There are two tea urns at her feet to the right and behind her. On the front of the plinth is incised,
'W.V.S. CANTEEN WORKER’ in a serif script in capitals.
The reverse of the plinth holds a very feint signature
'Margaret H G???????' and a date '1941.5'.
Unfortunately a portion of the hat brim over and behind the right eye
has been broken off and is missing, and a crack around the whole of the neck
indicates that the head has been broken off and replaced. Now it is part of our
unique and very interesting collection it can be preserved and kept safe for posterity.
Lanarkshire Local Office Collection
This was one of the larger accessions of the year and
probably the last to arrive, we look forward to seeing what comes to the archive
next year. The documents which arrived in a large cardboard box was made up of
minutes, day books, Narrative Reports for Strathaven, Strathclyde and East
Kilbride, Quarterly Reports, Scottish Annual Reports, financial records,
emergency Services training programmes and publications. All these records tell
the story of the Strathaven and Strathclyde offices in the Lanarkshire/East
Kilbride districts between 1954 and 2003. One of my favourite items was "WOMEN'S
ROYAL VOLUNTARY SERVICE NOTES FOR MEMBERS" which had a very interesting FAQ
section including one which sounds more like a statement:
“Question: You are a class organisation, middle-class,
choosey and establishment-minded"
"Answer: Come, come, most up-to-date community welfare is
organised on the knowledge of demographic figures. WRVS membership is
representative of the communities in which they live and serve. North Country
folk serve North Country communities. Londoners serve London.
In a new “young families” housing complex, young marrieds
serve young family needs. In sheltered housing, elderly serve each other. I
suppose you imagine AB’s serve DE’s. you ought to think again!
(Note: Modern demographics have a way to classifying Very
Rich as AB and Very Poor as DE and Middle and Professional classes as C1 and C2.)”