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Heritage Collection

Australian Red Cross at work, 1917.

The Australian Red Cross Heritage Collection, comprising both archives and memorabilia, is held across all Red Cross state and territory offices.

The collection includes annual reports, board and other committee minutes for all states and territories, and paper records from Red Cross branches, units and clubs (most dating back to 1914), Red Cross uniforms, badges, posters, quilts, flags, photographs and thousands of other documents and items.

The archival collection was used extensively for research and sourcing photographs for the Centenary history book The Power of Humanity: 100 Years of Australian Red Cross 1914-2014 by Melanie Oppenheimer.

Centenary Gift to the Nation: 1914 - 2014

In 2014 we marked the Centenary of Australian Red Cross by donating our archive and heritage collection from the national office and Victorian division to the University of Melbourne Archives, a gift to the nation to be preserved and shared with future generations.

In June 2015 the transfer of annual reports and official records marked the start of a five year process to handover one hundred years of photographs, records and treasured objects. At approximately 400 shelf metres, it will be the largest single donation the University of Melbourne Archives has ever received.

In June 2015 the first transfer of more than 970 archive boxes was made

Over 18 months a team of staff and volunteers spent more than 3,000 hours preparing for the first transfer. The second transfer is scheduled for the first half of 2016.

It's been a huge job managing the archives of one of Australia's largest and oldest charities. We thank our dedicated teams of staff and volunteer archivists in each state and territory, who have faithfully cared for our historical records and memorabilia with limited space and resources.

State and Territory archives

Our heritage collection held in states and territories continues to be cared for by an archivist and a dedicated team of volunteers around the country, some of whom are long-standing Red Cross members and volunteers. Their role includes:

  • Assist with any enquiries about information and items held in our Heritage Collection and archives held by the wider International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
  • Provide access to the Heritage Collection for researchers.
  • Arrange the loan of items from our Heritage Collection, primarily for display purposes.
  • Receive new items of items of significance into the Heritage Collection.
  • Undertake conservation and other projects to care for our Heritage Collection.
  • Support the donation of our national archives to the University of Melbourne Archives.

For more information about the Red Cross Heritage Collection please email us.

Centenary 2014

Visit the Centenary website

Explore 100 years of Red Cross in Australia and learn how you can be part of the great Australian story. Go to the Centenary 2014 site »

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