The National Archives

Reviewing our online resources

The National Archives maintains a number of online tools and resources giving information about the location and nature of collections relating to British history.

These resources contain information gathered from over 3,000 record holding institutions and provide a window on to local and national British history. These resources are:

In 2011/12 we embarked on a research project and gathered feedback from many stakeholders on how these resources should look and work in the future. To find out more about this work you can download a summary of our findings:

Finding Archives summary (PDF, 0.66Mb)

Joining up with Discovery

Discovery is our new catalogue for users to explore our collections, which holds data from both the Catalogue and DocumentsOnline. It has been designed to accommodate the many different databases and datasets hosted by The National Archives, and to provide a consistent and user friendly way of searching records.

We are working towards our long-term aim to incorporate the above data into Discovery, providing a single point of online access to catalogue and organisational data from across the archive sector. Our commitment to this is reflected in Archives for the 21st century documentation.

Progress so far

We are bringing our current resources on to a new platform which involves a lot of work behind the scenes. Among other things, this will enable a more flexible presentation of this content in Discovery. We began this work with ARCHON data which is the backbone to all of our collections information, as it points users to the location of records described.

We have since started work with NRA data to see how we can better expose name authorities; allow greater interrogation of collections information and make this data more visually appealing to non-expert users.

We held some user testing sessions at the end of last year and for a summary of these and project progress to date see The National Archives' blog.

For more information, contact the Collections Knowledge Manager (Systems) in Archives Sector Development.

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