12 November 2018
The British Red Cross archives collection has been made available to the public for the first time in its history, giving postal historians the chance to see related stamps, first day covers, and letters sent during wartime.
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.
The museum and archive collection, housed in Moorgate, is one of the largest collections of items of any Red Cross national society in the world.
As the British Red Cross approaches its 150th anniversary in 2020, the items have been placed online where the public can search for items by colour and create shortlists of their favourite objects. Amongst the items in the online archive is a series of Red Cross First Day Covers, and letters written by soldiers and familiar names such as Florence Nightingale.
Type ‘stamps’ into the search box and visitors will also see a range of Red Cross postage stamps as well as many British Red Cross Society War stamps which were used to raise funds during the First World War.
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 British Red Cross online collections database can be found at the website: museumandarchives.redcross.org.uk