The Archives are now settled in to our new home in a brand new re-configured and climate controlled storage facility, with equipment for digitisation. This makes it so much easier to look after the Archives according to professional standards.
In Arborfield, the Archives were stored in three separate parts: the Documentary Archives, the Pictorial Archives and the Technical Archives. In Lyneham, these have been merged into one Archive under myself, the new Museum Archivist, who with great foresight managed to avoid the unpacking of the crates and boxes by starting in February this year and so missing the decanting process. I am so grateful to my Museum colleagues who liberated the material from the packing boxes and placed them on the new shelves.
We now have all the Archives handily located in one room, on mobile shelving and our collections of EMERs and AESPS have a special room all of their own.
Since moving in, we have been arranging and sorting out the collections storage, acquiring new material, assessing the Archives Service and making arrangements to improve the way the Archive is managed and services delivered. Although not yet open, we look forward to receiving enquiries and visitors once we are, and so we are working on getting our enquiries and research service ready.
Working with me in the Archives is the new Corps Historian, my colleague in archives and research and fount of REME knowledge, who you will hear from soon on this blog.
As a newbie, it has been (and remains) a steep learning curve and quite a journey to get to know the collections and learn more about REME and the Corps history: from Land Rovers to LADs; BARVs, CRARRVs and ARVs; from Egypt to East Africa; from Burma to Belize; from Italy to India – working with the Museum Archives is like taking a world tour!
Celia Cassingham – Museum Archivist