Before the formation of the Adjutant General’s Corps in 1992, four of the Antecedent Corps had their own museum. The Royal Army Pay Corps Museum was at Worthy Down, the Royal Army Educational Corps Museum was at Eltham Palace in West London, with some displays at Beaconsfield and the Women’s Royal Army Corps Museum was at Guildford. The Royal Military Police Museum was located at Rousillion Barracks in Chichester
Following amalgamation in 1992 the Royal Army Pay Corps Museum remained at Worthy Down until 1993 at which point it was boxed and stored in a variety of places. The Eltham Palace Museum closed but the Beaconsfield display remained in being. These two displays have now been gifted by their Trustees to the Adjutant General’s Corps Museum Trust.The WRAC Museum closed and its collection was transferred to the National Army Museum in London.
The Royal Military Police Museum remains a separate institution but moved to the former HMS DRYAD site – renamed Southwick Park – in 2009. Items from the RMP Museum are displayed so that their history is portrayed within the AGC museum. The Military Provost Staff Corps has a small historic collection, mainly for teaching purposes at the MCTC inColchester, and elements of this enhance the AGC Museum displays. The Army Legal Services does not have a collection as such, but efforts are being made to ensure that this important element of the Corps is fully represented in its display.
Following the re-organisation of RHQAGC and the reduction of support to the RAPC and RAEC Association it was essential that the corps journals of these organisations were digitalised and they and the Trustees of the museum agreed to co-fund a digitisation project.
A digitisation Consultant from Townsweb Archiving Ltd visited us at the museum and after a useful meeting outlining their services and discussion on which parts of our collection we were considering to digitise, agreement of costs were finalised and Townsweb archiving Ltd arranged to collect and digitise the journals in various formats including Tiff, jpeg and OCR’d PDF. There were additional difficulties to overcome in that the journals were bound and so had to remain in this state throughout the process.
Simon Chandler-Barratt from Townsweb Archiving kept me informed as to the progress and when the anticipated completion and return of the collection.
We digitised in total 175 journals which created over 12,000 images and have been really impressed with the quality of output and the professionalism of TownswebArchiving Ltd. Since the digitisation process, I often wonder how the museum managed prior to the project. The use of the digitised archives enables the museum to greatly increase the speed of research; it is more accurate and has the additional bonus of reducing the wear on the original journals. The Regimental Associations now have a portable archive of their journals, which allows their officers’ to work away from the Corps’ RHQ
We are now in consultation with them to add additional content with the WRAC Association, as this project has created a good deal of interest and we look forward to working with them again in 2013.