International Heritage Centre blog

This blog is about our perspective on working as archivists and what we do day-to-day. We also post about Salvation Army history, how it relates to the wider world, and how our collections help us understand it.

Read our latest blogs

‘Our own private ball of sun’: archives shed new light on 5 Ravensworth Terrace

Since recording 'A House Through Time', new records have come to light which add to our understanding of this house’s rich history...

Two hundred boxes

The International Heritage Centre has over two hundred boxes containing material from British corps...

Profitable Reading? Fiction in Nineteenth-Century Salvation Army Periodicals

From its beginnings as the Christian Mission, The Salvation Army was (and still is) a prolific publisher...

Women's History Month 2020: A Collaborative Approach

Each year Women’s History Month inspires a host of events from exhibitions and talks, to defiant marches and historic walks...

A closer look at The Salvation Army's London Rescue Homes

The Girls’ Statement Book VII is one of more than 120 volumes containing details of women and girls who passed through Salvation Army rescue homes...

‘Inside affairs’: cataloguing the Henry Edmonds papers

Henry Edmonds first encountered The Salvation Army’s predecessor, the Christian Mission, as a teenager in Portsmouth...

2019

‘Eat like a Christian’: Vegetarianism in The Salvation Army’s Early History

It may seem surprising that vegetarian lifestyles began to gain popular recognition as early as the nineteenth century...

The Band of Love

The Salvation Army has been committed to temperance as part of its evangelical Christian mission since it was founded in the 1860s...

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’: Salvation and Salvage at the Turn of the Century

The paper recycling system was a metaphor for William Booth’s vision of the spiritual transformation of Britain’s poor...

'Rescue and Deliver Them': Attending the British Association of Victorian Studies Conference

Our archivist provides an account of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre's panel at the British Association of Victorian Studies 2019 Conference...

William Booth: The Man of Emotion

In our second guest blog, biographer Gordon Taylor shines a light on William Booth as a 'Man of Emotion'...

‘Matches and Morals’: The Salvation Army and Consumer Activism in the 1890s

The Darkest England Gazette gives an insight into The Salvation Army's promotion of its ethically-produced 'Darkest England Matches'...

The ‘Old Coat’

Cataloguing our Booth-Clibborn collection of correspondence has taken me on an enlightening and entertaining journey...

A House Through Time: The Salvation Army at 5 Ravensworth Terrace

The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre was pleased to be involved in the research behind David Olusoga's BBC2 series, A House Through Time...

The Leeds Guardian Home Correspondence

The transformative treatment that this collection of papers received by The Sussex Conservation Consortium has allowed us to examine their contents...

Chinese Christian Posters

We are delighted to have been able to contribute to a wonderful new online resource from the Center for Global Christianity and Mission, Boston...

Blood, Fire, Skulls & Crossbones: A Battle Between Two Armies

In the 1800s Salvationists took to the streets with blood and fire in their hearts, but the reactions that they received were a little fierier than expected...

2018

Adjutant William Avery and the 1914 Bombardment of Hartlepool

Less than five months after the outbreak of the First World War, on 16 December 1914, Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby, were attacked from the sea....

‘Drunkards’ Raids’ & ‘Boozers’ Days’: The Salvation Army’s ‘war on drink’

In the 1890s The Salvation Army described itself as “a universal Anti-Drink Army” and this blog looks at two examples of this war on drink...

Guest blog: Black History Month

In our first ever guest blog, William Booth College librarian Winette Field explores the history of black Salvationists, evangelists and missionaries in the UK...

‘The Foundation Deeds have never failed’: The Salvation Army Acts deconstructed

This blog came about as a result of a series of enquiries about The Salvation Army’s Acts of Parliament – what they are and why they were created...

Identifying historical photographs

Identifying the sitters or occasion shown in a photograph is one of the things we are often asked to do but sadly most of the time it is impossible...

‘Date Palm Corps:’ The Salvation Army in the Middle East

Researching the centenary of the end of the First World War has led us to some documents relating to the war in the Middle East...

Homelessness photography exhibition previews at William Booth College

Before it moved to its current location in Liverpool, William Booth College hosted Quiet Room, Tony Mallon’s latest photography exhibition...

Sweden saves the day!

One of my first projects as the new archive assistant late last year was to catalogue nineteen boxes of correspondence pertaining to The Salvation Army’s provisional International Headquarters during the Second World War…

A world so close and yet so far away...

Some reflections on the Sport and General Press Agency photographs of the Second World War...

Salvation and Suffrage

An investigation into the relationship between The Salvation Army and the Suffrage campaign at the fin de siècle...

The Swiss Diary of Lieutenant R G Thonger

In 2017, The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre purchased the manuscript diary of a Salvation Army officer who had served in Switzerland in the 1880s...

2017

Josephine Butler, Florence Booth and 'The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon'

Identified by some as 'the patron saint of prostitutes', Josephine Butler inhabits an integral place among first wave feminist reformers...

Voices of civilian internment: Salvation Army archives on Cambridge Digital Library

This August saw the launch of 'Voices of civilian internment: WWII Singapore', a new collection of digitised archive material...

“Such a candle as I trust shall never be put out”: The Salvation Army and the Reformation

On 31 October 2017 it is 500 years since Martin Luther (probably) nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg...

Riches indeed!

Our new Research Assistant, Major Mel Jones, gives his first impressions of working at the Heritage Centre...

Conserving the Leeds Guardian Home papers

In 2013, I opened a box of records that had come to us after many years spent in various unsuitable storage locations...

‘…behind the barbed wires’: internment on the Isle of Man

Explore the letters of officers Lieutenant-Colonel Walter and Esther Busse, interned as 'Enemy Aliens' for over five years during the Second World War...

2016

First World War Babies

Between 1897 and 1972, women seeking admission to Salvation Army homes in the United Kingdom were interviewed at The Salvation Army’s Women’s Social Work (WSW) headquarters in London...

'Receive, reform, regenerate, restore': Beggars' Town, Shanghai

One of our files from China comprises photographs of a settlement in Shanghai known as Beggars' Town ...

A contextual complexity: the Special Efforts Department

Exploring the work of a department for which no administrative papers have survived...

A lesson in judging books by their covers

Looking at the above picture you’d be forgiven for thinking that the volume in the centre would be easy to describe in our archive catalogue...

Paul O'Grady and The Salvation Army in Merseyside

When Paul came to visit the Heritage Centre, we showed him material from the archives that would help bring back memories of his early encounters with The Salvation Army in Merseyside...

“Almost demented with hunger and fear:” Easter 1916

The events of the Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland were widely covered in the British press, and the periodicals of The Salvation Army prove to be no exception...

From bad to worse: The Salvation Army in communist Czechoslovakia

Papers from our archive detail the problems The Salvation Army experienced following the nationalisation of churches in Czechoslovakia in 1949 ...

2015

'The New Exodus': The Salvation Army and Emigration

It is a little-known fact that The Salvation Army was the United Kingdom's largest voluntary migration society in the first half of the twentieth century ...

The Salvation Army in Post-War Germany

Papers in our archive shed light on the work of The Salvation Army in Germany during the Second World War ...

‘Comrades under the Colours’: International Congresses

The Salvation Army's first International Congress was held in 1886 to celebrate the organisation's 21st anniversary ...

2014

Mabel Poole: ‘Sister of Love'

Whilst re-cataloguing the IHC's several thousand strong collection of photographs, we came across unidentified loose prints of what appeared to be Indian royalty ...

'Chilly political winds': The Salvation Army in Hungary

Salvation Army work in Hungary lasted scarcely 25 years, years which coincided with a politically turbulent period in the country's history ...

Emma Cottage

Recent cataloguing has brought to light an intriguing volume from our Women's Social Work archive from a home called 'Emma Cottage' which is described as a 'Home for Day Girls' ...

World Refugee Day

The Salvation Army has a long history of social and evangelical outreach to refugees ...

'Patriotism is not enough'

The International Heritage Centre holds a large collection of records produced by the Women's Social Work branch of The Salvation Army. In April 1914 a referral is noted from a Miss Edith Cavell of Brussels ...

'Our Foreign Field': India

One of the strengths of the International Heritage Centre's holdings is its collections of records and published material relating to Salvation Army work in India ...

2013

Booth family papers

William and Catherine Booth had eight children who were all involved in running The Salvation Army and spreading its ideals ...

The Catalogue

Over the past 6 years, we have been cataloguing the archives and books held by the Heritage Centre ...

We are archivists

We look after archives. Our job is to decide what to keep and what to throw away ...