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Will you be one of the first to adopt a collection?

As of today there is a new way to look after the world’s milling heritage: Adopt a Collection. Will you be one of the first to adopt one of the Archive’s unique and precious collections?

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Adopt a Collection and express your passion for heritage. Take action and help us preserve and make available the valuable information contained within the ageing photographs, curling postcards and fragile documents. By adopting a collection, your donation will go towards the continuing care of all our collections so that they remain safe and available for generations to come.

Be a part of the Archive. As an Adopter, your name and that of your chosen collection will be recorded in the Adopters’ Register, preserving the record of your generosity. 

Will you adopt the Victorian Milling Collection? The Northwestern Miller is a US journal that began in the 1890s and forms part of this collection. The journal adverts and articles reflect many changes taking place in the West’s economy and society over decades. For example, some of the adverts reveal the tactics used by milling companies to sell flour in America during World War II. In one advert a company makes an appeal to defence. Red Star Yeast and Products Company acknowledge that bombs “seek to shatter morale.” They promise to solve this problem as “strong, well-nourished people are not easily panicked.” A clever tactic to interest scared customers.

Or perhaps you will adopt the Rex Wailes Collection? Rex Wailes (1901-1986) was the leading mill expert of his day. He travelled extensively around Finland, collecting photographs and writing about mills. He came across many intriguing designs, uses and superstitions about mills. In one photograph from his collection (below), you can see three people sat next to odd piles of millstones, surrounded by pine trees in the beautiful Finnish countryside. It turns out that this was a memorial at Kotkastoniemi Sugar Factory, Varsinais Suomi. Millstones are recycled here from their traditional use of grinding flour to commemorate the dead. You can explore the other photos Rex took in Finland on our online catalogue here.

We are grateful for any level of donation that you would like to make to the care of our collections and we will keep you informed of work being done on material. However, should you wish to make a significant contribution, we would like to thank you by offering the following levels of recognition:

If you adopt a collection for £250 you will receive:

An adoption certificate illustrated and signed by our Archivist
Entry in a special leatherbound Adopters’ Register that will be on display at the Archive and at events
Invitations to exclusive adopter events
Updates on your collection e.g. if new information is found

For £750 you will also receive:

A framed high-resolution image of your choice from your adopted collection
Recognition on our website if you would like this
An invitation to come to a short presentation by our Archivist on your adopted collection

Become a trailblazing adopter for £2500 and in addition to all the above you will receive:

Recognition on our online catalogue of images and documents
Opportunity to choose your preferred collection from across all of the collections and a discussion about what you would like to achieve with your donation
If your collection is new to the Archive or being currently worked on, you will be invited to come and see how we go about conserving, indexing and cataloguing the items

To find out more about Adopt a Collection and to browse the full list of collections currently being offered for adoption, click here.

If you would like to discuss adopting a collection, please get in touch with me at

If you would like to receive monthly enewsletters that highlight some of the fascinating stories in the collections, please contact me at You can unsubscribe from the enewsletters at any time.

Make a difference. Adopt a Collection.