Evacuee Archive - Deposits and Acquisitions


The Research Centre for Evacuee and War Child Studies (ResCEW) collected and preserved historical and contemporary materials that documented the evacuation experiences and processes of war children evacuated within the UK and those who went overseas, either privately or under the auspices of Children's Overseas Reception Board (CORB). It also collected information from other war-child organisations across Europe.  This collection is now held by the Museum of English Rural Life and Special Collections Service, part of the University of Reading, and much of the collection is available for consultation in the Reading Room.  Please note that a small amount of this collection is currently closed, to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Please contact us for more information about this.

Memoirs from former evacuees are still collected by the Museum of English Rural Life and Special Collections Service.

How do I deposit my material?

The best thing to do is contact us before you send anything.  We will be happy to talk to you about your deposit and answer any questions you might have.  We can advise you about the procedure for deposit.

General guidelines

What sorts of material is acceptable?

We seek to acquire written and verbal accounts from evacuees, plus items that illustrate the time of evacuation and the life of the evacuee. The archive welcomes material in all media, manuscripts, correspondence, postcards, photographs, film and video.

Are there any formalities?

Yes. You will need to sign a deposit form.  This form outlines the standard terms and conditions of the deposit.  The signed form should be returned with your deposit to the address provided on the form.

How should I prepare my material?

First and foremost, think about how future researchers will use your material, ie. try to keep the material in its original order. This means that photographs should remain with letters if they belonged to the letter in the first instance. The letter should be kept in a chronological order. A bundle of photographs should remain in its intended sequence, with information about people, places and dates, if you remember them. If you are depositing a written account it would be helpful if you remain clear about places, people and organisations, i.e. if you use nicknames or abbreviations provide an explanation or key. Please do not put any current contact addresses or personal details on your written account.

What if I am sending someone else's collection?

Please check if you have the legal authority to transfer the material and its associated copyright to the University of Reading.

More information

  • What packing material should I use?

    Please use new envelopes or cartons. Please ensure that you enclose the signed deposit form, specifying what you have sent.

  • How should I send my collection to the Museum?

    We would recommend you sending your material by recorded mail.

  • How will the archive acknowledge my deposit?

    As soon we have received your material, we will send you an acknowledgement letter including a photocopy of your signed deposit form for your records.

  • Who is going to have access to my material?

    The Reading Room is open to all, providing access to the University Museums and Special Collections Services which include MERL's library, archives and photographic collections and the University of Reading's other Special Collections

    We comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2005. This means that the general public has access to all sorts of material with some exemptions, specified in the Act. However, we also comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. We only make memoirs available to researchers where we have permission to do so. Personal details will not be revealed, only names.

  •  How do other people learn about my material?

    A full description is made available on our online catalogue, once the collection has been catalogued.  


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