National Archives - Kew Tips?

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

  1. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Another one's got the bug ! :)
  2. skimmod

    skimmod Senior Member

    already planning the next trip.
    I'll have to find time to digest all the other info before I do though :)
    Aixman likes this.
  3. papiermache

    papiermache WO 356 Mechanic Patron

  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Members Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've just noticed you can now advance order 12 files instead of 6. What a great idea :)
    Seroster, Aixman and BFBSM like this.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I need to be re-infected, have not been for over a year and my reader's ticket is out of date.
    Rich Payne likes this.
  6. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Mine too. Does that mean that we have to take the parchment-handling test again ?
  7. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Although I have been getting an error message a number of times saying I've exceeded 20 documents.

    I suspect they are checking any documents you may already have carried over in your locker from a previous day.
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Members Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I think they've always made sure you don't exceed 21 documents. I've had that in the past.
  9. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

    Any suggestions for a campsite that would be within reasonable travel time by public transport? I have no knowledge of the areas surrounding Kew.
  10. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

  11. Richelieu

    Richelieu Active Member

    Old hands will be aware that you could download files on site at TNA for free but I discovered yesterday that they have now instituted a charge. £3.50 per item seems a bit steep, especially where they have digitised old microfilm, and did so years ago, as the costs have long since been recovered. I know that public services are cash strapped but this seems like a strange move to me. You can still request the file and make your own copy which causes additional work for TNA staff and needless wear on the files. I wonder how long it will be before they start charging for requesting a file to view on site.
  12. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

  13. papiermache

    papiermache WO 356 Mechanic Patron

    The current trend at Kew is to replace desks, microfilm machines and computer terminals with soft furnishings chosen from the "80% off" range as advertised on the telly at Christmas.This range matches the red glare from the steps in the new glass vault ( lecture theatre for a small audience ) which is permanently lit despite the fact that it is empty most of the time. In other words, cheap and nasty.

    There are new examples of "80% off" flanking the entrance to the mezzanine tea joint on the first floor, often empty, but for the catering staff. The water in the gentleman's lavatory by the library is now thames water cold and all but one lightbulb has been removed, thus excusing the amount of liquid left on the floor the poor cleaner has to cope with. Rumour has it that visitors to Kew will be encouraged to pick up spare copies of "The Metro" from the tube to Kew Gardens to make do and mend, and please don't block the sewer.

    According to the Users Advisory minutes for June there will be a charge for lockers and all will be "digitised."

    As to matters of research and using Ancestry at Kew the minutes for March and June 2017 are worth reading because they indicate very serious matters of concern to military history types, or just ordinary folk who want to see how their ancients preserved the nation state and its treasures.

    For access to "User" group papers go the main website and scroll down to where it has a "Site A to Z", go to U, and click on the two types of groups. Most of it is in modern gibberish, but very serious issues about ONLY being able to access public records by paying Ancestry have been raised.

    My bugbear is with the appallingly bad Find My Past interface for Prisoners of War records which means it takes ten times as long to access an IJA card from WO 345 as it did with the hard copy. By all means preserve the original and substitute a copy but the obvious answer is to clearly label what the archive is. In order to get hapless users to use up credits FMP do not label the record except in meaningless tosh e.g. " Thai or Japan". The old file reference would work a treat.

    Microfilm is the obvious solution.

    Old hand indeed ! Hard copy is the new thing, digital is just old hat for the spooks and crooks to play with.

    Now, where's my Fred Astaire 78. Must change the needle.
  14. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Was this implemented this week? I was still able to download for free using onsite wifi last Thursday.

    Usually when a document has been digitised or microfilmed, the original is not orderable any more. This has always been a frustration for me, especially as microfilm readers rapidly bring on a migraine.
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Members Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I don't go anywhere near them for all the tea in China after Andrea's financial disaster :lol:
    PsyWar.Org likes this.
  16. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Oh, do tell ! On open forum preferably.
  17. Richelieu

    Richelieu Active Member

    My visit was on Tuesday, 8th August.

    The SHAEF papers (WO 229) were digitised from microfilm and range in quality between totally illegible to adequate but they are at least still free to download offsite, at least for the time being. Perhaps common sense will prevail when the digital copy is illegible.
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Members Patron 1940 Obsessive

    We don't talk about Kew Gate anymore
  19. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels

    The first rule of Kew Club...
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Members Patron 1940 Obsessive

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