National Archives - Kew Tips?

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

  1. hutt

    hutt Member

    I've done likewise, essentially making the point that the temporary stands are barely adequate and hopefully no-one is considering that they can be part of any long term 'upgrade' to the desking.

    Gary Tankard likes this.
  2. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    I was wondering if any of our members who also undertake copying at TNA have been able to get back to taking orders?

  3. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    Could someone who has recently visited the TNA, advise me please, if one orders 12 documents in advance is that it, or can you order further documents during the day. I am contemplating a visit and will probably do a bulk order of 40, as I can get them all done at my leisure on a 10 hour ish day.
    Thanks in anticipation
  4. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I'm copying files for people - I wouldn't say I take orders as such though, just doing them on request.
    CL1 likes this.
  5. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Yes, you can order documents on the day as well. I did notice it was an hour for them to be delivered rather than 45 minutes previously.
    Chris C, CL1 and AndyBaldEagle like this.
  6. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    Gary, Thank you for that, very helpful. I think I will go with the Bulk Order option to start with, as it's a 100 mile trip each way for me by public transport. So might have to book a hotel too!

  7. AlanDavid

    AlanDavid Junior Member

    There are a few B&B's in the area, within walking distance, which will be a lower cost than a hotel.

    I stayed in one for a few days on my last trip. Only a 2 or 3 minute walk away.
    Chris C and CL1 like this.
  8. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    I am a fan of the Premier Inn and have always found it good value for money, albeit a bit of a walk, but on a fine morning it's a refreshing one to the start of the day
  9. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I find it more convenient and quicker to stay in the Travelodge at Richmond. I've also stayed in the one at Twickenham as well, although that is another train ride.

    I have stayed in the Premier Inn in December and it wasn't much fun walking in.
  10. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    With regards to the posts about the issues with camera stands etc I did have a response from the TNA.

    Apart from apologies they did mention they will be removing the references to 'all desks have camera stands' and once they go back to full capacity the temporary camera stands will be removed.

    In the meantime if you need a 'proper' camera stand they said you should request a seat with 'a heavy duty camera stand' in the comments of your booking.
    CL1 likes this.
  11. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    Evening to all
    I have taken the plunge and booked a one day trip in November and also a 5 day trip in the first week of January!!

    Thinking as always of my stomach, is the little coffee bar open as one goes in as well as the cafe, and is it strictly 9am entry, as it used to be 8am onwards which was so much nicer to then sit, relax before starting a long day of copying

    I have actually booked 3 bulk orders and 2 standard days, just hope I get everything done!


  12. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member


    The cafe is open and opening time is (I think) still 9am for 9:30am. Not sure about the coffee place. I was there Thursday and things are slowly getting back to normal.

    One thing that isn't is multi-day visits. Rather than just click the button on the PC saying you want to reserve the documents for another day every person had to go to the desk and manually request the files were kept; they couldn't guarantee the same seat.

    If you do request a camera stand I would recommend you contact them at some point a few days before and make sure you have one. Despite having a few assurances all was sorted I still have had issues on arrival.

    4jonboy likes this.
  13. TijgerB

    TijgerB Member

    Is there anyone going to KEW soon who can help me out with some WO177:unsure: I am looking for:

    WO 177/2155 - 75 Indian Field Hospital - July '45 - April '46
    WO 177/2235 - 67 Indian General Hospital - Dec '45 - Nov '46
    WO 177/2249 - 89 Indian General Hospital - Jan - Aug '46

    I am especially interested in April '46 for some urgent research:D
  14. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    Thanks for that, I have actually booked documents for each day for my 5 day visit. If I don't get them copied in the time available then so be it, if I do and manage to get others ordered and done that will be a bonus.
    As I have ordered 3 bulk orders I expect to be sited in the corner somewhere where there are 4 camera stands already.
    However I will double check as you advise.


  15. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Something to bear in mind if you are driving to TNA from next week – the ULEZ is being extended and will include TNA’s car park, so you may incur a charge of £15 per day from TfL (£17.50 if not paid promptly). You can check if your vehicle is liable here.

    Also, TNA appear to have reinstated their car park charges.

    How to find us - The National Archives
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
  16. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It was good while it lasted...
  17. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    So while waiting for my wife at the hospital today I discovered what I thought was a huge mistake on my part. On 1/10 I had registered for a new readers ticket, my last having expired April 2020, ordered documents on the temporary number given for 25/11 (first date I could get for a bulk order!) and 4/1 - 8/1/22, and then seeing that I had to 'activate' (visit) my new ticket within 6 weeks of registering so taking me to 12/11 (Bear with me here please).

    So using the chat facility, and using my mobile as could not get t'internet in the Costa (well Colchester hospital is a bit upmarket now) I put down my dilemma to the nice lady at the archives. It then transpires that my temporary readers ticket actually lasts for 13 weeks, not the 6 I found on their website, so panic over!!!

    I also asked as I had the advance order booked on the temporary ticket number would I lose the orders for January after my permanent ticket was activated. Answer = No.... I have saved the chat as I don't want to have a problem when I get up there for a 5 day visit!

    Just as well, as I had already ordered my train tickets, and about to book the Premier Inn today, which has come down in price for a change!.

    So Andy is happy happy!
    4jonboy likes this.
  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Can anybody supply anything more on this? A) Is it available 'off site' and B) Is this part of a wider initiative?

    Via the Gwulo: Old Hong Kong site newsletter:

    One of the joys of life has been going to the National Archives in Kew and lugging a large CO 129 box back to ones desk. Opened up, the great tome of correspondence between Hong Kong and the Colonial Office in London is a treasure trove. Of course, there's the pages one's looking for - but there's always the unexpected, too. Is that a map folded up there? What's that about? Oh! an early underpass sceme! What's this letter? Wow! correspondence from Florence Nightingale! You get the drift - aside from the discoveries one can make, there's the physicality of seeing the actual signatures, the envelope that was sent 150 years ago, the doodle at the corner ... Well, everything has to change. I tried to book some volumes for this Saturday, but when I had problems made an enquiry. it seems that the whole series has now been digitised, in the interest of preservation. They are available for view on terminals in the building (there are plenty of them, so that's not an issue). In exceptional cases, if one can prove that digitisation has made a document illegible, volumes can be seen. I'l report back after Saturday as to how the system seems to work - hopefullly it will still give access to whole volumes, not just to specific pages, at any time. I'm going to take some files of my pictures taken in the past for comparison and see if they have included all the maps and charts, all the marginal notes etc etc. It will be interesting to see how easy they are to download to one's own storage. But I'm rather sad to find that I'm forced to look at a screen for hours rather than gently turn the page of these wonderful historic documents.

    Two Days Later:

    Reporting live from TNA, as it were ...

    Three TNA staff advisers and about 45 mins and we had the new system for viewing CO 129 volumes running smoothly. Its been digitised by a company called Gale - the TNA don't have the money to digitise everything, so some, like this, get sold to external companies. The system isn't really intuitive - its easy enough refine the search to aboutl 2000, but then requires finding the advanced search on a very busy screen, sliding the field down to 'manuscript volume' and entering the desired number. Within the document, (and you get the whole volume, with a page select function) it moves quite quickly. Their page numbers are out of kilter with the ones printed on the documents, since they include the cover etc - but quick enough to flip through. Then pages (up to 200 at a time) can be downloaded, and transferred via googledocs or wetransfer etc. It seems to take a minute or so to download 4 pages, so doing big batches would be time consuming, but probably only the same as taking that many photos. The reproduction seems very good - I've not found a map there yet, but the charts and plans were really sharp, and text magnifies fine. So ... a cautious welcome for this. And the TNA do a splendid bacon sarnie these days!

    CO 129 at TNA Kew | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

    For Reference:

    Screenshot 2021-11-15 at 11.50.19 PM.png

    Edit: Seems to be 'institutional' only:
    China and the Modern World:
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2021
  19. risca_boy

    risca_boy Junior Member

    Is there anyone who can give me a quote for copying the war diaries for the 751st Field Company Royal Engineers at Kew please?.
    Can you give me a price for Jan 1st 1945 until July 1st 1945?
    WO 170/5293 Description: Companies: 751 Coy. Date: 1945 Jan.- Dec.
  20. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Hi Steve,

    I might be able to get you these in the next couple of weeks covid allowing. I can't give you a quote as I don't know how big the file is. Send me a PM.

    risca_boy and 4jonboy like this.

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