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The Mills Archive Trust needs your help…

The Mills Archive Trust are looking for people who would like to roll up their sleeves and get involved in a trailblazing project that will digitise and open up access to the history of milling from the Second World War to the 1970s.

As far as we’re aware, this is the first project of its kind involving milling journals, and they are keen to involve UK Flour Miller members in their exploration of this new approach!

Do you – or someone you know - have experience and interest in the milling industry and its history? MAT has a very important set of journals, and are looking at making some of our issues of ‘Milling’ (running continuously since 1891) more accessible to researchers and people with an interest and connection to milling. These journals are an important part of the nation’s history, capturing many aspects of the work and lives of people, from those working in the mills themselves and in the labs, to those trying to sell their products to bakers and customers.

However, the main obstacle faced in providing access and sharing them with people around the world is in digitising them and providing access online. At present, people can view the journals in person, but this isn’t enough. The aim is for all kinds of people to read, enjoy and learn from these artefacts, such as academics, young people, students, and people still working in the industry.

This project would be enjoyable for someone interested in the development of milling and connecting traditional windmills and watermills with roller mills and modernisation.

To take our first steps into making these more accessible, we are asking for several volunteers to come forward and help us to catalogue and digitise some of these journals. This will involve:

  • Scanning journals and using Adobe and cataloguing software to capture related information.

  • We are also exploring how to dig deeper into these journals, and you will have the chance to share your ideas and potentially shape the next stage of this activity.

We are looking for people with the following skills and interests:

  • Digital, IT and analytical skills;

  • Some knowledge of aspect of the history of milling or the milling industry today would be helpful;

  • Accuracy in data entry and attention to detail;

  • Local (as volunteering will take place at our premises in central Reading);

  • You will need to possess a sensitivity towards handing fragile objects;

  • We are ideally looking looking for a regular commitment, perhaps several hours per week. However, we can be flexible and it depends on who else takes part, so do get in touch.

We would like to start as soon as possible, so will be responding to expressions of interest as and when we receive them – so please do get in touch if you are interested in helping to preserve, share and celebrate the fundamental parts of our milling history.

If you are interested in taking part, please email the Trust’s Director, Elizabeth Bartram at

*** This activity forms part of a current project to develop our Research Centre, supported by the Millers’ Mutual Association. We are most grateful for their support in making this possible. ***


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