Collecting Military Documents

This month, Mark Khan takes a look at the huge and fascinating area of collecting military paperwork and documents.

The military of all nations, like all large organisations, require high levels of administration to operate effectively; this comprises a vast array of functions from highly specialised tasks to the management of induvial service personnel. In the pre-digital age, this consisted entirely of printed matter in the form of manuals, technical publications, personal identification documents and maps, as well as many other types of military documentation.

The need to publish this mass of documentation has resulted in a legacy of surviving printed matter that forms a fascinating area of collecting. Military related documents obviously extend to all combatant powers, and, as such, this enables a collector to focus on areas of speciality or to simply collect documents of interest on a simple ad-hoc basis. Military documentation is still commonly available, and much of it is easily affordable - although rare or unusual documents will command a high price, however.

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