The annual National Archives’ ‘Explore Your Archive’ week is upon us, and we start with a focus on a collection belonging to, arguably, the foremost British molinologist of the 20th century, Rex Wailes OBE.
Our library holds over 70 of Rex’s books and journal articles, each containing a wealth of knowledge; but it is his collection of photographs and documents of windmills and watermills across the UK, Europe and USA that are the most fascinating. A taste of the collection is found with this 1889 engineer’s drawing of the ‘General arrangement Rolling mill’ (REXW-DRW-34-008) produced by his grandfather’s company, George Wailes & Co.
Of course, this drawing isn’t the only interesting item in Rex’s collection. There is much to choose from and his collection, as with all the others held at the Archive, is historically important for preserving milling heritage.
Over the coming days we shall be picking some highlights from across the Archive, so keep a watch on our website and social media throughout this week.