Ever wondered what an Archive volunteer gets to be involved with? Well, as a volunteer I get stuck in with all the goings on at the Archive, whether that’s sorting through new items just delivered or writing the Heritage Bulletin, there is always something going on! The most recent task I am currently working through though is cataloguing all of our records from Ipswich.
These files had been saved by our Archivist, who, armed with the empty boot of his car, rescued them from being destroyed once the Ipswich Office closed. The collection holds files relating to a lot of the services WRVS provided to the community of Ipswich, from Meals on Wheels to children’s holidays, it’s all there.
So come Wednesday morning you’ll find me sat at my desk armed with a staple remover and a computer, entering in the details of the records held within the Ipswich files. My task is to catalogue 140 files, two boxes of membership cards and the posters which were recovered.
So far I’m half way through and still going strong; I have pulled out countless rusty pins and staples from the documents and in the process of cataloguing have come across some great finds. The earliest record so far is an extract from the Thornbank Residential Club minute book dated 1946, this was the first ever Residential Club WVS opened and the Ipswich hoard contains several files about the service provided at Thornbank.
In my cataloguing pursuit I have come across floor plans for extensions and improvements, numerous newsletters, leaflets and reports and so many more interesting things.
I will be working with the Ipswich files for the next few months ensuring that all of the files have been recorded and preserved properly and then it will be onto the next challenge!