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Revealing the hidden histories of a million wartime women

Here at the Royal Voluntary Service Archive & Heritage Collection we certainly enjoy a bit of pioneering. Once again we are mining away at the secret and hidden history of women.

Yesterday Royal Voluntary Service launched its Kickstarter campaign hidden histories of a million wartime women. Our aim is to raise £25,000 pounds to start a project which will digitize and help to preserve around 28,000 fragile pieces of paper which tell the story of WVS from 1938-1941 in the words of the women who were vital to the Homefront all over Great Britain.

These stories are first-hand accounts of what it was like for a million women giving their services providing advice Information Bureaus, food in British Restaurants and Tea bars, clothes in Clothing Stores, supplies for hospitals and many other activities. It is difficult in a short blog to express how much they achieved and how this history needs to be given a platform, just imagine being able to read a handwritten diary about repairing and cleaning gas masks in Bath, wool made from dogs hair in Portsmouth, Toy Scheme’s for under-fives in Rickmansworth and the serving of 5,035 cups of tea in Hastings.

Hidden histories of a million wartime women will aim to give you this opportunity, to read stories central to the history of Great Britain and of course help us to reveal the secret history of women. We will be making stories recognised by UNESCO as one of the most important documents in the UK accessible to all.

You can explore our project and watch the exciting campaign video on Kickstarter today and help us preserve these stories.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 10:00 Monday, 09 May 2016.

Labels: Royal Voluntary Service, Archive, Kickstarter, UNESCO, digitize, WVS, wartime, women