Our archives date back to the foundation of Blind Veterans UK in 1915.
They include written documents such as minutes of meetings, correspondence between veterans and our charity, and records of the welfare and progress of the blind veterans we have helped. We also have a huge collection of photographs dating back more than 100 years, showing the extraordinary work our charity has done since the very beginning.
Along with these printed materials, we also have a number of objects that signify the incredible changes that the military and sight loss communities have been through in the last century. From braille watches to typewriters, these items are a tangible record of history.
In our Archive Dive video series, Blind Veterans UK archivist Rob showcases some extraordinary artefacts. These items charter the history of our charity and show how technology to support those with sight loss has developed over the past century.
Check out this braille watch
Braille is a type of written language using raised dots that represent different characters. These raised dots enable vision-impaired people to read and write using their fingers.
One example of a braille object is the braille watch. When our blinded men returned from the war, Blind Veterans UK founder Sir Arthur Pearson would visit them in hospital and give them each a watch. This demonstrated that blind veterans could still do things that they thought were no longer possible.