Major Archive Holdings
The Royal Logistic Corps Museum holds a wide range of information in the Archives which can be made available to researchers. The different categories of material available are listed below.
An increasing amount of our material is being made available to access through our Archive website, The RLC Digital Library. This can be found at www.rlcarchive.org.
Unit History Files
Unit files contain various documents relating to the history of specific units of The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), Forming Corps and predecessor squadrons, companies, regiments and other units. Information in such files includes detailed unit histories, summaries of operational tours, nominal rolls etc. Certain units have very large and extensively-detailed files. However, there are other units, particularly those with a short history, for which there is very little information available, or large gaps for certain periods of their history.
Campaign and Operations
The museum’s Archive collection covered in significant detail the operations and campaigns which The RLC, its Forming Corps and their predecessors have been involved in; from the 18th Century to 1993. Of particular importance are write-ups in sixty volumes of the Royal Army Service Corps’ activities in World War II. This material is unique to The Royal Logistic Corps Museum and is considered by The National Archives to be of national importance.
Within the Archive there is a large amount of material relating to the vehicles and equipment of The RLC and the Forming Corps and predecessor units. These include sketches, plans and manuals of all major equipment and vehicles used by these units.
B’ Vehicle Record Archive
The Royal Logistic Corps Museum holds the ‘B’ Vehicle Record Archive, which was formerly held at the Museum of Army Transport in Beverley. ‘B’ vehicle record cards show the movement history of individual soft-skinned Army vehicles throughout their service life. The cards held by the museum date from the mid-1940s to the late 1980s and amount to 220,000 cards (of which a significant number relate to the Royal Army Service Corps/Royal Corps of Transport). Researchers are able to obtain a scanned copy of a specific vehicle history card through The RLC Archive website at www.rlcarchive.org.
The Archive holds a complete set of RLC and Forming Corps journals, dating from the 19th Century to the present day. These are available for consultation in both hard and electronic copy. The journals provide information on Corps activities, unit news, Corps sport and unit operations. It is also possible to glean information on individual soldiers and officers, on such matters as gallantry awards, transfer between units and promotions.
Access to the journals is on a pay-per-view or subscription basis. Please see www.rlcarchive.org for further details.
The Archive collection also holds over 3,000 files relating to individual soldiers and officers. These files can refer to senior officers, those with notable gallantry awards or simply individual soldiers who have had their personal items donated to the museum. Material contained in the files can include such things as obituaries and personal diaries.
There is an extensive photographic collection of The RLC, its Forming Corps and their predecessors. The photographs cover the major subject areas, such as the two World Wars, operations, vehicles and equipment, trades and Corps functions, key personalities, unit photographs etc.
The museum’s Archive also has a small reference library available for consultation by researchers. The library contains a complete set of Corps histories, together with a comprehensive collection of books that relate to the activities of The RLC, its Forming Corps and their predecessors. Additionally, the reference library holds more general texts on wider British Army and Defence matters, including Army Lists.
The Royal Logistic Corps Museum Archive is not a ‘one stop shop’ for undertaking research relating to The RLC, its Forming Corps and their predecessors. In most cases, it will be necessary for you to undertake further research at other institutions and from other sources. Of particular importance are the following institutions:
The National Archives (TNA): Amongst its extensive holdings, TNA holds service records for officers and soldiers who completed their military service by 1921 and also unit war diaries and other operational records.
Army Personnel Centre: The Army Personnel Centre holds service records for those officers and soldiers who completed their military careers after 1921.
Imperial War Museum (IWM): The IWM has a large archive and an extensive photography collection, relating to conflicts of the 20th and 21st Centuries.