The Army Museums Ogilby Trust is a registered charity founded in 1954 by the late Colonel Robert Ogilby DSO, DL whose personal experiences in two world wars persuaded him that the fighting spirit of the British soldier stemmed from the esprit de corps engendered by the Army’s regimental structure. This spirit is enshrined in the many regimental and corps museums which seek to inspire and educate their visitors.
The Trust has played, and continues to play, a very significant part in the establishment and development of some 136 such museums in the United Kingdom today. They are as varied and individual as the regiments they represent. A visit to any of them will produce evidence of the Trust's activities: objects purchased with the assistance of a grant-in-aid; endowments to support their establishment or development and improvements to the preservation, conservation, display and recording of objects and archive material achieved through professional advice funded by the Trust. Most museums are now charitable trusts themselves and the legal costs associated with establishing them were, in most cases, borne by the Trust.
The Trust has contributed to professional military, museum and heritage journals and has sponsored or supported the publication of a number of works of reference. More recently it has created and now maintains a website, www.armymuseums.org.uk, which is recognised as the definitive guide to regimental and corps museums. The site carries advice on tracing army ancestors and includes a 4,000 volume regimental bibliography. The Trust also responds to inquiries from the general public. Its latest project was the production of The AMOT Guide to Military Museums – a glove box guide to all the regimental and corps museums listed on the website as well as prestigious national museums with collections of military significance.
Army museums are in most cases now well established and integrated into the national museums sector. Their collections provide valuable insights into the great events of our military history but they also illustrate the close links that have existed and continue to flourish between regiments and their local communities. The care and management of such collections is a heavy responsibility which demands specialist knowledge, professional training and funding. AMOT assists the in all these areas.