National Archives - Kew Tips?

Discussion in 'Research Material' started by von Poop, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Another quick (but pretty obvious really) tip (learnt the hard way by me yesterday!) is to take a spare memory card for a digital camera... Mine had a 4GB card which is usually more than big enough for my needs. However - after taking over 600 images yesterday, I discovered that the last 320 or so were just a digitally garbled mess due to some damage to my card. From now on, I'll be carrying a spare card and checking the images regularly while I'm still at TNA (not checking the whole lot in a service station near Birmingham as I did yesterday!!!!).

    Dave
     
  2. Jan7

    Jan7 Senior Member

    Another quick (but pretty obvious really) tip (learnt the hard way by me yesterday!) is to take a spare memory card for a digital camera... Mine had a 4GB card which is usually more than big enough for my needs. However - after taking over 600 images yesterday, I discovered that the last 320 or so were just a digitally garbled mess due to some damage to my card. From now on, I'll be carrying a spare card and checking the images regularly while I'm still at TNA (not checking the whole lot in a service station near Birmingham as I did yesterday!!!!).

    Dave

    Dear Dave:

    One device very interesting for persons as you, that made a lot of photos.....Is the device named Photobank. Basically are a minihard disc joined with a multi-card reader of various formats and autoself-powered with an internal rechargeable acummulator/battery, and of course provided with USB 2.0 ports and conections for alimentation of AC domestic current.

    In this mode, you could transfer periodically from the flashcard data and images to this device and later, when you will arrive at your home, at your Personal Computer/Mac again the same process. And in more ocassions, are useful as external hard disk.

    Is a good inversion. Perhaps not the cheapest but more, more interesting......I think.

    An eixample: http://www.google.es/search?hl=es&rlz=1T4GZEZ_esES283ES283&q=+PhotoBank+Hard+Drive&btnG=Buscar&meta=


    -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

    My conseil about the photos garbled/damaged: Keep all, save in a DVD. Perhaps, in a determinate moment, you will acced at a program, a friend who recuperate these digital treasure.....




    Jan.
     
  3. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    Crap Dave,thats not good, I always have a spare battery and 1GB card with me when I check the archives, as it happend to me also and that was one time only!
     
  4. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Crap Dave,thats not good, I always have a spare battery and 1GB card with me when I check the archives, as it happend to me also and that was one time only!


    I am a belt and bracers man myself.

    At least 6 Memory cards of varying capacities and two spare Batteries. Using a Canon G6 the batteries usually last a day,but travelling so far it pays to be over cautious.
    There are powerpoints at each desk if needed, so it is a good idea to take a charger.
     
  5. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    If you have a laptop then it's always good to bring it with you to Kew, to offload your memory sticks to the laptop's hard drive as you go.

    I've always been a bit anal with data back up after losing a couple of chapters of a book I'm writing when a hard drive failed. I tend to keep at least three copies of any important digital data and make the first back up as soon as possible.

    I'm also thinking in subscribing to an online hard drive back up service.
     
  6. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    If you have a laptop then it's always good to bring it with you to Kew, to offload your memory sticks to the laptop's hard drive as you go.



    ...as opposed to doing that in a Birmingham service station like I did!:D

    Dave
     
  7. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

    A few additional comments after my recent visit. The tables are colour coded Orange, Blue & Green. I think that these are supposed to mean group working allowed, the odd whisper permitted and complete silence respectively but most people in the Orange section were on their own.

    Each section has one table that an individual camera stand for each of its 8 seats. These are Orange 5, Blue 25 and Green 34. I told them in advance that I wanted to use a digital camera and a laptop and was given seat 5B, which had a plug socket under it on the floor. Seat 5D, beside the window, had 2 plug sockets. The other 6 seats at this table didn't seem to have plug sockets; one man changed his seat after finding that he had nowhere to plug in his laptop at 5A.

    There are a number of other camera stands available to all comers. There didn't ever seem to be queues to use these but the document room was less than half full on my latest visit in mid-November and I have seen it much fuller in the summer. I've never seen any sign of somebody monopolising one of these. The closest tables to these are Orange 4, 12 and 13 and Blue 19, 20, 26 and 33. Each table, apart from the 4 with camera stands, seats 6 people in a hexagon formation. Seats C, D and E are the closest to the window and the camera stands. Each of the 6 seats has 2 plug sockets so one of these may be a better option than the camera stand tables for somebody with a laptop and a camera.

    Finally, there was almost a fight in the Railway, the pub that I recommended above. Some people, who seemed to know the assailant, calmed him down and persuaded him to leave without any blows being struck.
     
  8. Steve G

    Steve G Senior Member

    Here ye go, Adam. By coincidence, a mate of mine recently visited Kew for the first time and I asked him to 'Take Me There' with a reliving of his day. Here's how he described the whole adventure. Maybe this'll help prepare you too?

    " Kew? Well it is a big modern building, purpose built for use. On the outskirts of town, pretty well signposted off the A4. There's a big free car park where I sat for half an hour watching a bald young mange ridden fox cub whilst waiting for the place to open. A short walk past a huge ornamental pond with fountains finds you at the front revolving door.

    Inside is a big round desk in the foyer to point you in the right direction. There's a coffee bar and a changing room to leave your coat and bags. All that's allowed in is a spiral bound notebook and pencil, laptop and camera - all held in a clear plastic bag so security can check it over going in and out.

    I registered for a readers card with a pretty young girl and waited in line with all the other anoraks for the main reading room to open. It's all very 'new' and open plan, and everyone appears to take on a 'nice' persona.

    Past the security desk with two burly guys in 'security guard' suits and your into the main place. Near the front is a desk with a pair of feisty girls who check you in - I see why they are fraught later on as they take all the daft questions, one after the other, from the readers during the day.

    You immediately request your first 3 documents on the networked PC and wait patiently (1/2 hour) for them to arrive in your glass fronted box, number issued by the girls. Whilst I waited for Frank Sawyer's life's work to arrive I went to my nominated workplace to set up my stall.

    Picture a huge room filled with hexagonal desks and not a lot else. Each desk has a frantic researcher sitting at it doing what I am doing. Arranging notebooks, setting up camera, flashing up the laptop to receive the first card's worth of data.

    I went back round to my box to find the first 3 documents waiting for me and trembled as I sneaked a peak on my way back to the PC to order my second batch of three volumes - a system I planned to keep the info in a steady stream ;-)

    Back at my desk I fought the temptation hard not to read the stuff, just scan over each page to check its validity or relevance. Initilally I copied everything as it was all new but later a lot of the documents were duplicated letters or notes so there was little point in copying them again - this saved me a lot of time. I just photocopied or photographed all I could in a mad scramble which lasted a good 7 hours. I didn't eat, or use the loo once. I was on a mission, totally detached from everyone around me. A stiff neck was the least of my worries.

    I had booked in for two full frantic days with accommodation nearby to get my head down in between but I cracked it all in one long day. My system worked a treat and I returned home that day. "
     
  9. Belly

    Belly Engage the enemy more closely

    I'm hoping to make my first visit to Kew over Easter, can anyone recommend a good place to stay near buy within walking distance (preferably with parking)??
    I see there’s a Premier in within a couple of miles?
     
  10. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

    A recent change is that you can now pre-order 6 documents, instead of the previous order 3 and give 3 reserves.
     
    jibhauler likes this.
  11. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    A recent change is that you can now pre-order 6 documents, instead of the previous order 3 and give 3 reserves.

    ...and ,if you pre-order by telephone, you can also have pretty much hassle-free access to the original items if they've been digitized and put online (I quite often found digitized items to be a problem if I needed a lot from them) - that came as a pleasant surprise to me last month (I was ready for an arguement and they conformed to my wishes straight away!)

    dave.
     
  12. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    And it's so easy to put your digital camera on mute as well ;)
    .


    Only taken me 5 months, but I've now sussed how to do it!:lol:
     
  13. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Just recently went to Kew again and had to re-new my readers ticket. They now take your photograph and make the I.D. readers card there and then. make sure you have Indentification that includes your signature and you must also have proof of address (utility bill in your name or credit card statement)
     
  14. stevew

    stevew Senior Member

    I'm hoping to make my first visit to Kew over Easter, can anyone recommend a good place to stay near buy within walking distance (preferably with parking)??
    I see there’s a Premier in within a couple of miles?

    Belly, can't recommend somewhere to stay, but the train station (tube and overground) is only 5-10 minutes walk away, and it is signposted to TNA

    Steve
     
  15. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    Just recently went to Kew again and had to re-new my readers ticket. They now take your photograph and make the I.D. readers card there and then. make sure you have Indentification that includes your signature and you must also have proof of address (utility bill in your name or credit card statement)


    Well that knackers me, no drivers licence!, no credit cards anymore!! all online, passport then i suppose wiht my picture that makes me look like a war criminal!
    , but ive had readers ticket for years!

    Nice to hear you can order more than 3 documents at a time now!

    Andy
     
  16. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    I'm hoping to make my first visit to Kew over Easter, can anyone recommend a good place to stay near buy within walking distance (preferably with parking)??
    I see there’s a Premier in within a couple of miles?


    Always use Travelodge myself. Either the "Kew Bridge"one at Brentford or either of the 2 on the M4. Booking well in advance usually helps with costs.
    None are within a short walk but no problem with parking.

    The T.N.A. used to give lists of recommended B & B in the area.


    Brian
     
  17. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

    A few additional comments after my recent visit. The tables are colour coded Orange, Blue & Green. I think that these are supposed to mean group working allowed, the odd whisper permitted and complete silence respectively but most people in the Orange section were on their own.

    Each section has one table that an individual camera stand for each of its 8 seats. These are Orange 5, Blue 25 and Green 34. I told them in advance that I wanted to use a digital camera and a laptop and was given seat 5B, which had a plug socket under it on the floor. Seat 5D, beside the window, had 2 plug sockets. The other 6 seats at this table didn't seem to have plug sockets; one man changed his seat after finding that he had nowhere to plug in his laptop at 5A.

    There are a number of other camera stands available to all comers. There didn't ever seem to be queues to use these but the document room was less than half full on my latest visit in mid-November and I have seen it much fuller in the summer. I've never seen any sign of somebody monopolising one of these. The closest tables to these are Orange 4, 12 and 13 and Blue 19, 20, 26 and 33. Each table, apart from the 4 with camera stands, seats 6 people in a hexagon formation. Seats C, D and E are the closest to the window and the camera stands. Each of the 6 seats has 2 plug sockets so one of these may be a better option than the camera stand tables for somebody with a laptop and a camera.

    Finally, there was almost a fight in the Railway, the pub that I recommended above. Some people, who seemed to know the assailant, calmed him down and persuaded him to leave without any blows being struck.

    There are now 2 plug sockets per seat at the 3 tables with camera stands.
     
    JohnV likes this.
  18. JohnV

    JohnV Junior Member

    A word of advice for anyone planning a visit here (assuming tey don't go regularly and so know already...). The car park will shortly be off limits to anyone who hasn't booked in advance and paid online for the tidy sum of £5. A shame... I often visit 'spur of the moment' but will have to be a bit more organised in the future. And don't even think of parking at the shopping centre nearby for too long, you WILL get a penalty ticket.

    Short delay in launch of car park pre-pay and booking system | The National Archives
     
  19. 2EastYorks

    2EastYorks Senior Member

    I'm hoping to go next week to have a look through the regimental war diaries of the 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment. This may be a daft question, but I take it that you can't photocopy documents?
     
  20. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Take a digital camera and book a seat in the area designated for this purpose.

    Quick question. Have you been before and got a reader's ticket?
     

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