St John Archive

An update on the Museum’s Archives Revealed cataloguing project!

Museum of the Order of St John Sophie Denman, Archivist

Back in August, the Museum announced that it had won an externally-funded £35k Archives Revealed grant from The National Archives, Pilgrim Trust, and The Wolfson Foundation to catalogue the early records relating to the St John Ambulance Association and St John Ambulance Brigade. In the last two months since making the announcement, we’ve been very busy gearing up for the project to begin…

The external funding largely pays for a Project Cataloguer who will carry out the sorting, appraisal, and cataloguing of the collection, and co-create the Archive’s cataloguing structure and Archive Cataloguing Guidelines. I’m delighted to share the news that we have appointed someone with a wealth of experience for this role, and they will be joining the Museum team at the end of the month. We have also recruited two Project Volunteers who will provide assistance to the Project Cataloguer, helping to interpret in-house terminology, make sense of the organisations roles, structures, and processes, and assist in re-housing the collection into archive-standard packaging and identify records which may require additional conservation work. Between them, our two Project Volunteers bring over 100 years of experience as volunteers within St John Ambulance, and they will be joining us next month. Keep your eyes peeled for a future blog which will introduce the project team!

The Museum will be running an inclusive and accessible programme of events throughout the duration of the project to share new discoveries and invite new perspectives. Members of the Museum team will be giving monthly 10-minute talks in the Museum galleries and our Learning & Engagement team have already planned some fantastic family activities for 2024, and all of these events are designed around themes within this early collection. Details of the talks and family activities will be released later in the year in our What’s On Guide and on our What’s On page.

We will have a Project Steering Group to help guide and oversee the project, comprising members who represent Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, St John International, St John youth, St John’s national heritage, and the academic community. I am finalising the membership of the Project Steering Group, who will meet for the first time next month.

There is lots of preparatory work going on behind the scenes as we ready ourselves for our three new team members and the project to get underway – look out for our next update to follow our progress!

Latest blog posts