Tuesday, 11 July 2017

WVS Diaries 1939 - 1942 and Bulletin Free Online

31,401 pages of diaries from 1938-1942 from more than 1,300 different cities, towns and villages across Great Britain, previously unseen diaries from the Women’s Voluntary Services (WVS) during the Second World War, are newly available online.

The diaries record the work of the WVS to help win the war. "As well as sewing, cooking, knitting and helping their communities recover after raids, they learnt new skills such as extinguishing incendiary bombs, driving in the black-out and garnishing tens of thousands of camouflage nets; helping transform the way in which women were viewed by society."

The diaries are hand-written so not full-text searchable. Searching is by place name. Individuals are rarely mentioned.

Find a press release at https://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/news-and-events/news/royal-voluntary-service-diaries-of-wartime-women-go-online.

Also available, fully digitized, is the WVS Bulletin and WRVS Magazine, a subscription publication produced monthly for 36 years. Over 419 issues were published between November 1939 to December 1974.  They "offer a very clear and accessible view of the activities and work that was undertaken". Some names are mentioned including those receiving long-service awards.

If you only want to search the Bulletins click 'Advanced search' and type your word of phrase into the Bulletin Text field.


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