Wool sample book

With the support of our members and generous donations from the public, the Friends are able to make a number of grants to support projects at The National Archives. Read on to discover the ways in which your money can be of help.

Digitising records of First World War military service tribunals (MH 47)

The Friends and the Federation of Family History Societies have jointly funded a project to digitise records relating to 15,000 individuals who appealed against compulsory conscription into the British Army, including 'Conscientious Objectors'.

This project will allow the opening up of a valuable resource, which is currently poorly-described and consequently under-used, to researchers. Read more about the project.

Conserving paintings from the Ministry of Information 1939-1946 (INF 3)

The Friends made a contribution towards conservation materials to house valuable works of art at The National Archives. These original paintings and drawings were produced for the Ministry of Information for propaganda and publicity purposes during the Second World War.

This is an important and unique collection, containing work by highly regarded artists such as Mervyn Peake, illustrator of the Gormenghast Trilogy and Alice In Wonderland.

Cataloguing medieval deeds (WARD 2)

The Friends funded an expert cataloguer to input the deed series WARD 2 into The National Archives' online catalogue, to enable researchers to search the records by family name and place name.

These documents contain evidence and deeds exhibited in cases heard before the Court of Wards and Liveries, starting as early as 1200 and going up to the reign of Charles I (c. 1649). They are a very rich source for personal and genealogical history, as well as local history in England and Wales and evidence for the development and use of property law and the English legal system.

Conserving 18th century wool sample books (C 104/3)

Dating from the Court of Chancery 1724-1736, these wool sample books were submitted as exhibits in the case of the dyeing and clothier business of the Whitchurch family of Frome, Somerset.

They include six recipe books that give the dye recipe with a colour sample alongside. The sample books are unique and a source of incredible value for textile, social and industry historians which would not have survived had they not been submitted as evidence to the court of Chancery.

These delicate books required specialist conservation. A generous contribution from the Friends enabled this to take place quickly.