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.


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The Salvation Army's London Rescue Homes

The Girls’ Statement Book VII (London) is one of more than a hundred and twenty volumes containing details of women and girls who passed through Salvation Army rescue homes.



‘Inside affairs’: cataloguing the Henry Edmonds papers

Archivist Ruth Macdonald provides an account of the the discovery and cataloguing of Henry Edmonds papers, an exciting glimpse into the life of an early Salvationist and contemporary of Catherine and William Booth.



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

While in the present day diets free from animal products are receiving increasing media coverage in the context of both environmentalism and animal welfare, it may seem surprising that vegetarian lifestyles had begun to gain popular recognition as early as the nineteenth century. 


“To live as we should do”: The Band of Love

One of the most active temperance organisations that campaigned for total abstinence from alcohol was the Band of Hope, a juvenile temperance society founded in 1847


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

The paper recycling system was truly a physical metaphor for William Booth’s vision of the spiritual transformation of Britain’s poor, as well as an efficient method of fulfilling his ambition to aid people economically. 


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

Archivist, Ruth Macdonald, provides an account of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre's panel at the British Association of Victorian Studies 2019 Conference...

September 2019


William Booth: The Man of Emotion

In our second guest blog, and ahead of his 2 volume biography, Gordon Taylor shines a light on William Booth as a 'Man of Emotion'...

August 2019

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'...

July 2019


The 'Old Coat'

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

June 2019


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...

May 2019


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...

April 2019


Chinese Christian Posters: a collaboration with the Center for Global Christianity and Mission

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

February 2019


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...

January 2019

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....

December 2018

‘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 in this blog I’m going to look at two examples of this war on drink...

November 2018


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...

October 2018


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

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

September 2018


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...

August 2018


'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 the war in the Middle East...

July 2018


Homelessness 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 that he created in collaboration with The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre...

June 2018


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 that was set up during the Second World War…

April 2018


A world so close and yet so far away

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

March 2018


Salvation and Suffrage

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

February 2018


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...

January 2018

Protection of young girls poster

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...

December 2017


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...

November 2017


“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...

October 2017


Riches indeed!

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

September 2017


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...

March 2017

'...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...

January 2017

First World War Babies

But not all fathers were soldiers. Just 30% of men in this volume are identified as soldiers, and all of these would have been volunteers...

November 2016

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

One of the files from China comprises photographs of a settlement in Shanghai known as Beggar’s Town ...

September 2016

A contextual complexity: the Special Efforts Department

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

June 2016


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...

May 2016


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 the memories of his early encounters with The Salvation Army in Merseyside... 

April 2016

'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... 

March 2016

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, culminating in their eventual suppression in 1950...

February 2016

'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 ...

November 2015


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 and allow an insight into the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of the war ...

October 2015


'Comrades under the Colours': International Congresses

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

July 2015


Mabel Poole: 'Sister of Love'

Whilst re-cataloguing the IHC's several thousand strong collection of photographs of Salvation Army work in its International Territories we came across unidentified loose prints of what appeared to be Indian royalty ...

September 2014


'Chilly Political Winds' in Hungary

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

August 2014


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' ...

July 2014


World Refugee Day

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

June 2014


'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 ...

April 2014


'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 ...

January 2014


Booth Family Papers

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

November 2013


The Catalogue

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

October 2013


We are archivists

We look after archives (records, photographs, films, objects). Our job is to decide what to keep and what to throw away ...

August 2013

Archive catalogue

Explore thousands of documents and books in our archive and library.

People and symbols

Learn more about founders and symbols that define The Salvation Army.

William Booth Birthplace Museum

Visit the birthplace of our founder, William Booth, and learn more about his life.

International Resources

Explore our resources to helps transform lives internationally

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