12/11/2018 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

British Red Cross archives collection online for first time


The British Red Cross has made its archives collection available online to the public for the first time, as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2020.


The organisation helps millions of people in the UK and around the world get the support they need if crisis strikes and holds 56,000 items related to this work dating back to 1870.


Artefacts from World War I & World War II

In the process of digitising thousands of artefacts, the charity’s Heritage Team unearthed several unusual items, including a prisoner of war ‘blower’ used to heat and cook food parcels sent to PoW camps in WW2, and Agatha Christie’s volunteering record card from WW1, giving details of the author’s service at Town Hall Red Cross Hospital in Torquay.


The collection, which is housed in Moorgate, London, is one of the largest of any Red Cross national society in the world. The items have been placed online where the public can search for items by colour and create shortlists of their favourite objects. So far, researchers can search or browse nearly 29,000 items online, with more objects and documents being added regularly.


You might also be interested in these stories:

New exhibition explores the roles of nurses in the wake of Armistice Day

Service Scrapbooks – Nursing & Storytelling in the First World War

3 key websites for researching and commemorating your First World War ancestors


Connections to key historical figures

British Red Cross Heritage Manager Dr Alasdair Brooks said: ‘This is a brilliant opportunity to share our internationally important collection, which includes a range of both wonderful and weird objects. 


‘We can see from these items alone how our First Aid advice has drastically changed over the decades, why Red Cross neutrality has been a fundamental principle of our work through the world’s major conflicts, our connection to key historical figures and our unique relationship with the Royal Family.  We hope the database will provide the public with the opportunity to learn how our work is as vital today as it has been for the past 150 years.’


The new British Red Cross online collections database can be explored here.


Image: © British Red Cross Museum and Archives.



12/11/2018 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Digital-first 2021 England and Wales census will ask new questions

The 2021 England and Wales will ask new questions and draw on 'additional sources of information', a new ...

A Street Near You WW1 site huge hit with historians & researchers

A new interactive First World War legacy project built in just one week has proved hugely popular after ...

WW1 heroes who never made it home for Christmas remembered in Tommy campaign

The Bring a Tommy Home for Christmas campaign invites families to remember overlooked heroes and benefit ...

New study shows direct relationship between ancient populations of North America and South America

An 'unprecedented study', with the participation of researchers from the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, ...

Other News

Landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

European Parliamentarians and experts are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the landmark Universal ...

New report shows people are taking an increased pride in their regional identity

New research published today by FindMyPast explores the public's perception of the UK - and reveals which ...

New records reveal childbearing age for women born in different years

The average completed family size for women in England and Wales who reached the age of 45 in 2017 is the ...

The untold story of John Shakespeare - event with Professor Glyn Parry

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon is hosting an event with historian Professor Glyn ...