Catalogue Week is coming

Our annual Catalogue Week runs from Monday 21 November to Friday 25 November, now fully online.

We’ll be publishing a week of blog posts and recorded presentations from a variety of our staff (and the occasional guest) to showcase current and recently completed cataloguing projects, all aimed at making our vast collection more accessible and useful for researchers.  

Follow @UKNatArchives on Twitter for regular updates throughout the week, or bookmark this page and check back – we’ll update the schedule with links as blogs and presentations are published and available.

Monday 21 November 

  • Overview of Catalogue Week 2022 (blog)
    Jane Langford, Senior Archivist
    Looking ahead at what’s to come over the next five days
  • Cataloguing Selected Second World War Service Personnel Records (presentation)
    Meada Wadman, Archivist (Military Records)
    An overview on the work being carried out on selected WWII service personnel records, including the enhancement and standardization of data from the transferring department, allocating series, data loading and new approaches to address project challenges. 
  • The A – Z of the Royal Navy Captains’ letters project (blog)
    Bruno Pappalardo, Principal Records Specialist (Naval)
    The first of a planned series of blogs charting the progress of the Royal Navy Captains’ letters volunteer project. It aims to showcase the fantastic work being carried out by a team of volunteers to make the content of these letters much more widely accessible through cataloguing. 
  • WO 399: early 20th century nurses records – unpicking experiences (blog)
    Jessamy Carlson, Head of Community and Transport Team
    A fascinating overview of nursing experiences in the early 20th century.
  • Digital by design – C20th design data extracted from the Patents Journal (blog)
    Sarah Castagnetti, Visual Collections Team Manager
    This cataloguing project was a step into the unknown; using Optical Character Recognition to capture data from printed journals and add it to spreadsheet templates.  OCR errors were largely corrected using machine learning, but a team of over 30 volunteers are doing final checks. Find out more in this blogpost about our design records and how this project will improve access and open up avenues for research with.
  • Archives Revealed: Cataloguing Grants (presentation)
    Sophie Anstee de Mas, Grants and Funding Officer
    Archives Revealed is a partnership programme between The National Archives, the Pilgrim Trust and the Wolfson Foundation, and is the only funding stream in the UK dedicated to cataloguing and unlocking archives. Archives Revealed aims to ensure that significant archive collections, representing the lives and perspectives of all people across the UK, are made accessible to the public for research and enjoyment. 

Tuesday 22 November 

  • CP 56 Uncovered: Accessioning the Writs of Entry from the Early Modern Court of Common Pleas (blog)
    Emily Jennings, formerly Cataloguing, Taxonomy and Data Archivist (Catalogue Data), now based in the archives of Magdalen College, University of Oxford
    A behind the scenes of a recent project to accession an unsorted Common Pleas record series: CP 56, dating from 1562-1796. All CP 56 files are now ready to view on Discovery and to consult in our reading rooms.  
  • Using Archives in the Past – medieval deeds repositories and the Duchy of Lancaster’s Great Cowcher book (blog)
    Dr Sean Cunningham, Head of Collections (MEMLAMP)
    Highlighting some of the distinct groupings of archival records that have emerged within sources studied as part of a project on the Duchy of Lancaster records and estates held by The National Archives and involving academics and heritage specialists in Lancashire, Lincolnshire and the duchy itself. Using original deeds alongside the newly catalogued contents of the duchy’s Great Cowcher book – the definitive survey of lands c.1403, which copied the texts of numerous other records – it becomes possible to see patterns of earlier archival arrangements within regional medieval repositories like monasteries and the duchy office itself. 
  •  Cataloguing Exchequer Equity: E 112, E 133, and E 134 (presentation)
    Dr Daniel Gosling, Principal Legal Records Specialist
    An overview of the cataloguing work that has recently been completed on series relating to the Equity Court of Exchequer, and what cataloguing is planned for these research-rich series.

Wednesday 23 November 

  •  Strength in Numbers: communities and catalogues (blog)
    Caroline Catchpole, Digital Development Officer
    Since its launch in 2018, over 4,000 record descriptions have been added and/or edited in Discovery using Manage Your Collections (MYC). A self-publishing tool allowing UK archives control of their own data on Discovery, MYC offers a free way for archives to connect their collections to a wide user base. But MYC is more than statistics; what lies behind those numbers are the communities that have used it. We take a look back at the past four years and highlight some of the ways different communities have approached using the tool, as well current initiatives being worked on. 
  •  The Women’s Aid Federation of England Archive: A Case Study for Inclusive Cataloguing (presentation)
    Holly Smith, Project Archivist for the Women’s Aid Federation of England Archive, also Professional Fellowship in partnership with The National Archives and Research Libraries UK
    This fascinating presentation from our external contributor to Catalogue Week, centres around inclusive cataloguing, namely working to address representation and accessibility in archive collections. This talk will not only introduce you to the Women’s Aid Archive and some of its amazing material, but also provide insight into how Holly is using the collection to champion inclusive cataloguing.  

Thursday 24 November 

  • The Trade in Yellow – Cataloguing the Home Office Correspondence, King George III (blog)
    Chris Heather, Records Specialist (Transport)
    Focusing on the HO 42 cataloguing project and a subject which has come to light in 1810 counterfeit coins and banknotes, in this blogpost. 
  • Captures and Cargoes: preying on enemy shipping in the 1740s (blog)
    Dr Amanda Bevan, Head of Legal
    The Prize Papers team this year finished sorting, numbering, cataloguing and packing over 45,000 documents from the 1740s. These were either taken from captured ships, or from the court process to prove these ships to be ‘good prize’. The captors, both naval ships and privateers, were also identified. This work has opened up new perspectives on seaborne trade, war at sea, and seafaring careers. 
  • A Court at the Crossroads of Empire: The Papers of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (blog)
    Charlotte Smith, Modern Legal Records Specialist
    The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was created by statute in 1833. In addition to hearing appeals from the ecclesiastical courts, and from the Isle of Man and Channel Islands, it was the highest court of appeal for the British Empire and India. Its case papers came to us in 2019 and provide us with a rich record of the British approach to imperial administration, the transmission of laws and legal ideas within empire, relations between Britain and its colonial and imperial possessions, and life under British rule. The blog explores the richness and diversity of these records through an exploration of the Indian appeal, Skinner v Orde (1870). 

Friday 25 November 

  • Cataloguing CO 730: opening up perspectives on early twentieth-century Iraq (blog)
    Dr Liz Haines, Team Leader, Overseas and Defence
    A fascinating overview of this series, containing original correspondence sent to the Colonial Office relating to Iraq under British mandate in the 1920s. 
  • Innovation through a Pandemic (presentation)
    Mel Draper, lead volunteer on the ZSPC 11 project
    Tracing the volunteer team’s move from the traditional on-site cataloguing process to one which is mainly remote using shared digital photographs of the piece contents, and specially written software for use on team members’ home computers.
  • Project Omega: First Sight of the New Cataloguing System (blog)
    Alex Green, Pan-Archival Catalogue Service Owner, and Faith Lawrence, Data Analyst
    n overview of the progress being made to replace our cataloguing system.
  • Pre-Raphaelites, John Bull and lobsters: Highlights from cataloguing the Stationers’ Company copyright collection
    Dr Katherine Howells, Principal Records Specialist in Visual Collections
    Exploring highlights from recent volunteer cataloguing work on the COPY 1 collection. This collection contains paintings and drawings registered for copyright protection with the Stationers’ Company and frequently offers up a variety of fascinating and unexpected images and stories.