The Tank Museum | Donations to the Archive and Supporting Collection

Donations to the Archive and Supporting Collection

New donations from the past month

12th April 2019

Royal Armoured Corps Uniform

RAC uniformDating from the 1980s through to 2000, the latest donation from Bovington Camp is a major collection covering uniform and insignia design and historical dress regulations for the Royal Armoured Corps.

Featuring all units within the RAC, including bands, the collection includes colour photographs, fabric samples and uniform design drawings. While not immediately obvious, the collection is a gem of loose minutes and meetings notes covering regulations deciding who can wear black overalls, applications for uniforms alterations and name changes, discussion on uniforms for female recruits and prototype designs.

An invaluable source of information the files are a delightful insight on the minutia of RAC Regimental histories and tradition – which also covers the times Regimental traditions have clashed! 

Bovington before the Tanks

A recently rediscovered map shows life before the tanks at Bovington Camp.

Dated 22nd September 1915, this detailed map by Macdonald, Gibbs & Co (Engineers) Ltd. shows the buildings of Bovington Camp and how they were lit in its previous incarnation as an infantry training camp. 

Conditions had been fairly Spartan following the outbreak of war, with first troops to arrive often finding their first night was spent “al fresco” and without rations. By September 1915 the camp had come a long way; featuring a large hospital, several denominations of churches and a theatre. The wooden huts shown on the map could house up to 30 soldiers had been a relatively recent edition. They were completed in March 1915, after torrential winter weather flooded the tents the infantry were previously accommodated in. The bottom of the map details the exact number of beds for officers, soldiers and horses; which even included room for six servants!

Bovington Map Blog

The large surrounding heathland seen on the map and the sparsely populated location were among the reasons that Bovington was chosen as the home of the Heavy Branch - Machine Gun Corps, later the Tank Corps. 

USCAN

USCAN Landrover

The Tank Museum Archive has just taken delivery of a brand new USCAN+ HD Fische Scanner.

This new scanner means that Archive staff can digitally capture our collections aperture cards, slides and microfiche in a quality we had not been able to achieve before. The scanner, which uses a lens, allows staff to focus on drawings and provided them as digital images which can then be catalogued.

The Archive holds 10, 000s of slides and at least 1.2 million aperture cards and microfiche.

Accessing this treasure trove of information will provide vital support to Workshop conservation projects and the defence industry, while allowing us to also upgrade our plans packs service for hobbyists.

The image above, one of the first to be scanned, is that of the Landrover SAS (Long Wheelbase).