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Encyclopedia > The National Archives
The National Archives building at Kew.
The National Archives building at Kew.

The National Archives is a British Governmental organisation created in April 2003. It claims to have "one of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of British history, from the Domesday Book to government papers recently released to the public". It also promotes high standards in records management and archive administration both nationally and internationally. Image File history File links Public Exhibit area of the National Archives Building, Washington, DC, 1998, by Rick Dikeman This looks like its the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. ... Image File history File links Public Exhibit area of the National Archives Building, Washington, DC, 1998, by Rick Dikeman This looks like its the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. ... The United Kingdom is a unitary state and a democratic constitutional monarchy. ... Template:AprillCalendar Look up Aprill in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Britain may be understood in a number of ways (See Britain). ... Domesday Book (also known as Domesday, or Book of Winchester), was the record of the great survey of England completed in 1086, executed for William the Conqueror, that was similar to a census by a government of today. ... Records management is the practice of identifying, classifying, archiving, and sometimes the controlled destruction of records. ...


It was created by combining the Public Record Office and the Historical Manuscripts Commission (for earlier history, see the article on the Public Record Office) and is an Executive Agency reporting to the Department for Constitutional Affairs. The current Chief Executive (formally Keeper of the Public Records and Historical Manuscripts Commissioner) is Natalie Ceeney, formerly director of operations at the British Library. She has replaced Sarah Tyacke, who retired in October 2005. The Public Record Office of the United Kingdom is one of the two organisations that make up the National Archives (the other is the Historical Manuscripts Commission). ... The Public Record Office of the United Kingdom is one of the two organisations that make up the National Archives (the other is the Historical Manuscripts Commission). ... An Executive Agency is a British public institution that carries out some part of the executive functions of the United Kingdom government, Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. ... The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) is a United Kingdom government department. ... British Library Ossulston St entrance, with distinctive red logo. ...


It is institutional policy to include the definite article — with an initial capital letter — in its name (hence "The National Archives", sometimes abbreviated as TNA) but this practice is rarely followed in the media.


The main building of The National Archives is at Kew in west London, and the Family Records Centre is in Islington in central London. Both sites are open to the general public. Kew is a place in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in South West London. ... The Houses of Parliament and the clock tower containing Big Ben Part of the London skyline viewed from the South Bank London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ... The Family Records Centre provides access to family history research sources for England and Wales. ... Islington is an inner-city district in north London. ...


The material held at Kew includes the following:

  • Documents from the bentral courts of law including the King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Central Criminal Court, Assizes, and Equity courts from the twelfth century onwards.
  • Medieval records of central and local government.
  • A large and disparate collection of maps, plans and architectural drawings.
  • Records for family historians including wills, naturalisation certificates and criminal records.
  • Service and operational records of the armed forces.
  • Foreign Office and Colonial Office correspondence and files.
  • Records of the modern central government departments.
  • Cabinet papers and Home Office records.
  • Statistics of the Board of Trade.
  • The National Register of Archives, which holds detailed catalogues of all kinds of records relating to British history held elsewhere.
  • The Manorial Documents Register, which notes the existence and location of manorial records in England and Wales.

There is also a museum, which displays key documents such as the Domesday Book and stages a programme of exhibitions. One of the ancient courts of England, the Kings Bench (or Queens Bench when the monarch is female) is now a division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. ... In United States jurisprudence, Court of Common Pleas is a term referring to a court of certain jurisdiction. ... Categories: Stub | Legal buildings in London | Local government buildings in London | Legal London ... The Courts of Assize, or Assizes, were periodic criminal courts held around England and Wales until 1972, when together with the Quarter Sessions they were abolished by the Courts Act 1971 and replaced by a single permanent Crown Court. ... This article is about concept of equity in Anglo-American jurisprudence. ... The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom abroad. ... The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet official in charge of managing the various British colonies. ... The modern concept of Small Office and Home Office or SoHo , or Small or Home Office deals with the category of business which can be from 1 to 10 workers. ... The Board of Trade is a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, originating as a committee of inquiry in the 17th century and evolving gradually into a government department with a diverse range of functions. ... Domesday Book (also known as Domesday, or Book of Winchester), was the record of the great survey of England completed in 1086, executed for William the Conqueror, that was similar to a census by a government of today. ...


In early July 2005, an article in the Daily Telegraph claimed that certain documents relating to the death of Heinrich Himmler had been faked. An internal investigation revealed that five documents were indeed forgeries and The National Archives declared its intention to review security procedures in the light of this knowledge. 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article deals with The Daily Telegraph in Britain, see The Daily Telegraph (Australia) for the Australian publication The Daily Telegraph is a British broadsheet newspaper founded in 1855. ... Heinrich Himmler (help· info) (October 7, 1900 – May 23, 1945) was the commander of the German Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. ...


There is a separate National Archives of Scotland (formerly the Scottish Record Office), which holds government and private documents relating to Scotland. A similar institution in Northern Ireland is the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). Based in Edinburgh, the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) claims to have one of the most varied collection of archives in the British Isles. ... The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is situated in Belfast, Northern Ireland. ...


Storage

The moveable shelving in one of the more modern repositories
Enlarge
The moveable shelving in one of the more modern repositories

The documents are stored on double-sided shelves, which are pushed together in such a way that there's no aisle between them. A large handle on the end of each shelf allows them to be moved along tracks in the floor, to create an aisle when needed.


They are generally stored in folders or boxes; many of these will have green labels stating when the papers can be examined again, under the Thirty Year Rule. The thirty year rule is the popular name given to a law in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and Australia that states that the yearly cabinet papers of a government will be released publicly thirty years after they were created. ...


In the event of a fire, obviously The National Archives couldn't use sprinklers, and so when they are sure that everyone is clear of the building, argon gas is sprayed into the air-tight repositories. General Name, Symbol, Number argon, Ar, 18 Chemical series noble gases Group, Period, Block 18, 3, p Appearance colorless Atomic mass 39. ...


Access to documents

Anybody with British citizenship can access the documents, after signing up for a free Reader's Card. The reading room has terminals from which documents can be ordered by their reference number. The reference number is composed of three sections: the department code, such as WO for the War Office; a division code, for the "subcategory" that the document falls into, this is normally three digits; and a item number, typically four to five digits. The United Kingdom has arguably the worlds most complex nationality laws, because of its former status as an imperial power. ... Old War Office Building, Whitehall, London - the former location of the War Office The War Office was a former department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1963, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence. ...


Once a document has been ordered, assuming it is kept at Kew rather than at their second repositry at the Cheshire Salt Mines, The National Archives aim to get it to the reader within half an hour (usually within 17 minutes).


Frequently accessed documents such as the Abdication Papers have been put on microfilm, as have records for two million First World War soldiers. The originals were stored in a warehouse in London along with four million others, but a bomb dropped on the warehouse in the Second World War. The surviving third were put on microfilm with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund. A limited number of documents are available on microfiche. Microfilm is an analog storage medium for books, periodicals, legal documents and engineering drawings. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... A play here! sign outside a newsagent, incorporating the National Lotterys logo of a stylised hand with crossed fingers. ... Microfiche machines may be available at libraries or record archives. ...


External links

  • The National Archives
  • The Family Records Centre
  • National Archives of Scotland — a separate organisation

 
 

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