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Collections development policy

This is a summary of the collections development policy, which guides what we can and can't accept in the museum and archives. Please read the complete version of the policy for further information. The key points are listed below.

What we do

The British Red Cross museum and archives' objective is to collect, preserve and make accessible the history of the British Red Cross and its role in the international movement to a wide audience.

The museum and archives will collect material relating to the operation of the organisation in 1870 to the present day. 

The geography of collecting is determined by the area in which the British Red Cross operates and so has an international scope.

What we collect

A lot of the collection has been, and is still, acquired through internal transfer or donation by individual members of the public.

The Museum collection contains artefacts within the following subject areas:

  • uniform
  • medals and badges 
  • fundraising and communications material.

The archive collection contains the following:

  • records produced by the organisation’s central UK Office
  • records produced by the organisation’s territories, areas and branches.
  • records of those who served with or received assistance from the organisation
  • records of organisations with which the Red Cross has significant organisational connections.

Limitations - why we can’t accept everything that’s offered

It may be more appropriate to offer an item to another museum or archive collecting in similar areas or subject fields.

The museum and archives needs to ensure adequate conservation, documentation and proper use of material. We take into account limitations on collecting imposed by such factors as inadequate staffing, storage and conservation resources.

The museum and archives cannot accept material that lacks contextual information or duplicates of items that are already held in the collection. These do not add to the comprehensive history and do not take into account the limits of our resources.

The policy has been approved by the Arts Council through an accreditation process to ensure that professional standards are followed.

Please read the complete version of the policy for further information.