'The Wardrobe' as the Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum is known locally, has a very limited number of paid staff, consisting of a Manager/Curator (full time); Assistant Curator (part time); Museum Assistant (full time) plus a little paid help for such things as staffing the desk at weekends and cutting the grass. All the other activities at the Museum depend on a group of some 30 to 40 people who work voluntarily and, without whom, it would not be possible for the Museum to function the way it does.
Our 'front line' where we welcome our customers, take their money, set them off on their tour of the Museum or the garden and sell them items from the Museum shop.
A key position is that of the Museum Archivist and assistant who deal with the many enquiries, normally relating to individuals, that we receive every week. As we request a donation of at least £20 for each enquiry, this is not only an invaluable service to the public but a useful source of income.
Many documents both from the National Archives at Kew and from the Museum's own archives have been transcribed. This includes the Battalion War Diaries for both The Wiltshire Regiment and The Royal Berkshire Regiment for both World Wars (now on sale from the Museum shop). Some of this work is carried out at the Museum but over the years much has been done in the comfort of volunteers' own homes.
All items need to be accurately recorded in our database, scanned or photographed, and if not going out on display, to be suitably packed for storage. A number of people work on different aspects of this process which is essential to ensure that we know what objects we have and where they are as well as making them available for viewing on the Museum's website. The Museum is particularily grateful for the ongoing help provided by the local NADFAS group who, among other tasks, have spent many hours photographing uniforms and medals so that they are available on this website.
Other Tasks (by no means an exhaustive list!)
Helping prepare temporary exhibits; staffing the Museum's display at public events such as those put on by English Heritage at Old Sarum and by Family History Societies; assisting with visiting school parties; proofreading; practical tasks like putting up shelves; answering the phone – and writing copy for this website.
A Volunteers Viewpoint
(This will be a small article upadated twice a year written by one of the volunteers - this has yet to be written).
Your Museum Needs You
There are nearly always new projects waiting to be undertaken, and inevitably as the years pass some of our volunteers feel they can no longer help us. Whatever your skills and interests we would be pleased to hear from you if you can give us some time on a regular basis.
To contact the curator either Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone him on 01722 419419 or write to him at 58 The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EX