National Archives - Kew Tips?

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

  1. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Why do they keep using the word 'inclusivity'?

    Is it some kind of ward or fetish against budget cuts?

    If the archives are truly inclusive, why are they exclusively accesible through a language of colonial oppression--or indeed any language at all?

    And why does access require technology the cost of which excludes the majority of humanity?
    papiermache, JimHerriot and timuk like this.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The devil makes work for idle hands...
    brithm, papiermache and JimHerriot like this.
  3. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Branding that resembles an Amsler grid is rather distracting for people with macular degeneration. So that's a negative point in the inclusivity column.
  4. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    It's been down all evening.
    brithm likes this.
  5. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    The Discovery Server wants rebranding with a sledgehammer, Lee.
    brithm, Tom OBrien and PsyWar.Org like this.
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    They must already have enough 'historians and those without links to one or more of the learned societies'...
  7. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Has anyone tried to book a slot under the new restrictions?

    I waited all last week for the bookings for w/e 14th August to become available this morning. Logged in - all are already gone for the whole week.
  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    New Rules:

    From Tuesday 25 August we will be opening up our second floor map and large document reading room, as well as increasing the number of seats available in our first floor document reading room. Visitors will also be able to order more documents each day (nine instead of six), and we will have a small number of two-day appointments available for visitors wishing to research bulk document orders (between 20 and 40).


    If you wish to research several documents from the same catalogue series, for example from FO 371 (Foreign Office correspondence), we would class this as a ‘bulk order’. You will be able to order between 20 and 40 documents in your bulk order, but they must all be from the same series, without exception.

    There are a few series that we cannot supply as bulk orders – we will contact you if your request is for one of these series.

    More Details:
    The National Archives now open, offering greater access to our collections - The National Archives

    That's more like it.
    Tom OBrien likes this.
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    As you say CF, moving in the right direction.
  10. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Anyone been to Kew since "easing" began?

    I'm hoping to go sometime in September(to copy my meagre 9 documents;)) but does anyone know how quickly the spaces get snapped up? Is the booking system relatively easy?

    It looks like the second week in September is available at the moment but when I click through to book a visit on say Thursday 10 September there doesn't seem to be a way to actually book. :confused:

    There is a line that says "On Sale 24 Aug 2020 at 10.00". Does that mean that another button will appear tomorrow morning at 1000 which will allow me to book a visit for any day that week?
    Any help for an IT duffer gratefully received. :surr:


  11. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    The ticketing is done through Eventbrite so make sure you’ve already signed up with them.

    And yes, make sure you logon at 10am tomorrow as all the seats will be go quite quickly. There is an even more limited number of seats with camera stands as well.

    Also make sure you have your document references to hand as you need to enter these as part of the booking.
    Tom OBrien likes this.
  12. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Thanks, that's great. I'll register with Eventbrite - got my list of references in an e-mail ready to copy and paste in.


  13. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    thanks for advice, I’m all booked in. Should be an interesting experience!

    Not sure why coffee shop can’t open though - wouldn’t that be a chance to make some cash?



    4jonboy and dbf like this.
  14. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    More likely to loose it. Customers would have to socially distance so they could only get a fraction of the numbers in - not enough to cover the overheads of being open.
  15. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I'm off there on Friday so I'll let you know how it goes. Can't say I'm looking forward to having to wear a mask for five hours though although this new rule does seem to have coincided with more visitors being allowed.
  16. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member


    Just an update on my visit last week. All went relatively smoothly - I estimate there were only have been 20-30 people allowed in. There are some tables spread out in the cafeteria area so you can get there before 10 am. I got there about 9:40-ish.

    One good thing is the documents are all on a trolley next to your assigned desk so no going backwards and forwards with the 'one box/three file rule' rule.

    One thing I didn't work out is how people got reading aids (foam supports, weights etc). I couldn't see any around but some people had them on their trolleys - I assume you have to request them?

    There are also some rules about only taking two items in out of a phone, camera and laptop. Quite why they have published this rule I'm not sure, especially as you can ignore it. No-one asked about a phone or frisks you down.

    Tom OBrien and Chris C like this.
  17. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Thanks, that's very useful - especially as I have no idea what kind of traffic to expect.

    I hadn't realised that so few people were actually allowed in still. Now I feel very special!

    Not even if you ask nicely? :D:whistle:

    I think there is a Costa in the retail park next door (other brands of over-priced coffees are available!) so I might nip there first to get a caffeine fix and take that into the restaurant - if they'll let me.


  18. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Went to Kew today and found it well organised and easy to navigate thanks to Gary's hints above and the video and explanation on the website. The trolley of documents next to your desk is a nice touch (all the normal reading aids - foam wedges, etc - were in a box on the trolley so that was OK as well).

    The one downside for an occasional visitor like me is that the reading room now does not open until 1000 and then closes again at 1450. I found missing that first hour a big limit as that is when my copying mojo is at its greatest, with my enthusiasm and energy gradually declining as the day goes on. I fortunately managed to pick 9 relatively big files and got about 7 1/2 copied which is great. My heart normally sinks when I see a 600-700 page box in my cubby hole so it made a nice change to be pleased to see a few chunky boxes this time.

    I also found that ship's logs (in my case INDOMITABLE for spring 1942) are given monthly references but come in a big box! Result - got the first four months of 1942 and only used up one file number. :D:cheers:

    Anyway, hopefully the Archives will still be open in November and I can collect a few more files from my ever increasing "research" list.

    Edited to add: Robert was right about the coffee shop - no chance of making any money with such a small number of visitors; looked like about 20-30 max.


    Chris C likes this.
  19. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    My only worry now is that my wife will think that getting some of these tabs and applying them to my "To Do List" would be a good idea!

    ADM205-10 - p.115.GIF

    From ADM205/10 - Correspondence between First Sea Lord and Winston. :D


    Chris C likes this.
  20. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    I'm currently attempting to expand my last MA dissertation into a book. As it deals mainly with the Home Front in my locality most of the stuff I need is in the County not the national archives. Sadly with age etc my mobility is not what it used to be and I will need to use people to extract and copy files for me, I need to access three different counties. Pre Covid there were people offering the service but even then contacting them proved difficult - now it seems impossible. Tips anyone?

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