Virtual Reading Room

A man talking to someone via his laptop computer
The Royal Voluntary Service Heritage Collection Virtual Reading Room offers real-time access to our historic collections via Skype.

It is a replacement for our on-site access which is currently suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Virtual Reading Room offers live one-to-one sessions with a member of the Heritage Collection team where you will be able to view live streamed paper documents on your computer screen, ask questions and receive valuable context and additional information. Just like visiting in person.

Two x two-hour sessions per month are available on the first Tuesday or Wednesday of each month. Sessions must be booked a month ahead and priority will be given to new users. If demand is low then it may be possible for one user to book both morning and afternoon sessions.

To book a session, discuss your area of research and what documents you would like to view, please complete our online form.

Virtual Reading Room sessions are subject to Data Protection and Copyright restrictions and are for non-commercial research and private study purposes. If you wish to use the archive for commercial research or publication then please contact us using our online form to discuss your needs.

Please note: you will need a large high resolution screen to get the best out of the session. It is recommended that this has a minimum vertical resolution of 1080 pixels.

Please read the Guide to using our Virtual Reading Room and the User Agreement and Copyright Declaration.


80 years in pictures

See our remarkable story through a collection of photographs from our Heritage Collection and today's volunteers in action.

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Royal Voluntary Service...

...is a national charity built on local volunteering, giving support to people to meet the needs of the day in the NHS and in our communities.

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